Frank Fires Back at GOP Over ACORN Attacks

Posted October 15, 2008 at 3:52pm

House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) on Wednesday blasted Republicans for being “inappropriately political” in their push for hearings on alleged abuses by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

Frank was responding to a letter sent Tuesday by Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), Financial Services ranking member Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) and GOP members of the committee demanding that the panel investigate allegations that ACORN engaged in voter fraud and misused federal funds.

“I was disappointed to read the inappropriately political letter from my Republican colleagues regarding the nature of the hearing we have scheduled next week,” Frank said.

He accused Republicans of trying to divert the focus of next Tuesday’s Financial Services hearing on the future of financial services regulation.

“My Republican colleagues, in raising the issue of ACORN, which is unrelated to the subject of regulatory restructuring, have apparently decided to try to hijack the committee and turn it into an echo chamber in an effort help out the McCain campaign,” Frank said. “No legislation passed by the House has authorized or appropriated funds for ACORN.”

The Massachusetts Democrat also rejected GOP calls to invite former executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to testify at the scheduled hearing. He said the committee already held a hearing a few weeks ago with the regulator and former executives of the groups.

“If the Republicans were seriously interested in examining the causes of the sub-prime crisis, they would be insistent that we summon Alan Greenspan, who, as McCain adviser Mark Zandi has pointed out, refused to use the authority given to him by Congress in 1994 to prevent subprime abuses,” Frank said.

Frank’s comments come on the heels of a series of Republican Congressional attacks against ACORN and its activities. In addition to Boehner’s letter, several GOP lawmakers have asked the Justice Department to investigate allegations of voter fraud in advance of the November election.