Barney Frank

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Posted by kaori 03/01/2009 @ 22:39

Tags : barney frank, the house, government, politics

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A push to legalize Internet gambling - Los Angeles Times
Barney Frank (D-Mass.), head of the House Financial Services Committee, is leading the fight for gamblers. A previous effort by Frank failed to get out of committee, but the combination of grass-roots and corporate support -- as well as the weakening...
Rep. Frank Plans Four Separate Muni Bills - Bond Buyer
By Andrew Ackerman WASHINGTON - House Financial Services Committee chairman Barney Frank is poised to introduce his municipal market legislation as four separate bills to improve the chances of at least some of the measures passing the House,...
Gambling Firms Bet On Barney Frank - Forbes
Barney Frank is introducing a bill to propose that online gambling be legalized and regulated in the United States. Getting the bill through the Senate will be the hardest part, according to Joe Kelly of the State College of Buffalo....
EXCLUSIVE-Obama admin opposes flood insurer plan wind add-on - Reuters
The letter from Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to Representative Barney Frank, chairman of the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, said the administration "strongly opposes" portions of a House bill...
California treasurer asks US to backstop state borrowing - Los Angeles Times
Barney Frank (D-Mass.), the chairman of the House Financial Services committee. Although Frank is in the process of drafting legislation that could create a long-term federal reinsurance program for municipal bonds, it isn't clear what can get through...
Reps Introduce Resolution Recognizing 40th Stonewall Anniversary - Windy City Times
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representatives Jerrold Nadler ( D-NY ) , Tammy Baldwin ( D-WI ) , Barney Frank ( D-MA ) and Jared Polis ( D-CO ) introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives to recognize the 40th anniversary of Stonewall....
US Regulators To Make OTC Derivatives Markets Transparent, Prevent ... - AHN
... Secretary Tim Geithner, and we agree there must be strong, comprehensive and consistent regulation of OTC derivatives," Agriculture Committee Chairman Colin Peterson and Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank said in a joint statement....
Sewage Sows Superbugs - Mother Jones
Obama and Barney Frank want a financial "supercop." Senator Chris Dodd has other ideas. Let MoJo send our best stories to your inbox three times a week. Wastewater treatment plants create a hedonistic mating ground for antibiotic-resistant superbugs...
Barney Frank's New Bill Provides Little Satisfaction to the Sports ... - inc
Sports bettors hoping for a law that would legalize their activity online had their dreams dashed when Barney Frank released his latest online bill. Prior bills initiated by Frank gave leagues that didn't want gambling on their games the chance to opt...
National Review Online: Blame Game - NPR
Barney Frank was proud to be one of those who were pushing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into more adventurous financial practices, in the name of "affordable housing." In 2003 he said: "I believe that we, as the Federal Government, have probably done too...

Barney Frank

Barney Frank

Barnett "Barney" Frank (born March 31, 1940) is an American politician in the United States House representing Massachusetts's 4th congressional district since 1981. In 1982 he won his first full term and has been re-elected ever since by wide margins. In 1987 Frank became the first Representative to come out as gay, at that time he was the most prominent openly gay politician in the United States.

In 2007 Frank became the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee (when Democrats won a majority in the House of Representatives). The comittee oversees housing and banking industries.

The New York Times has called Frank "one of the most powerful members of Congress" and "a key deal-maker, an unlikely bridge between his party’s left-wing base and free-market conservatives".

Frank was born to a Jewish family in Bayonne, New Jersey and was educated at Harvard College, where he resided in Kirkland House and then Winthrop House, graduating in 1962. He taught undergraduates at Harvard while studying for a Ph.D., but left before completing the degree in 1968, to become Boston mayor Kevin White's Chief Assistant, a position he held for three years. He then served for a year as Administrative Assistant to Congressman Michael J. Harrington.

In 1972, Frank was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, where he served for eight years. During that time, he entered Harvard Law School and graduated in 1977.

While in state and local government, Frank taught part time at the University of Massachusetts Boston, the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and at Boston University. He published numerous articles on politics and public affairs, and in 1992 he published Speaking Frankly, an essay on the role the Democratic Party should play in the 1990s.

In 1979, Frank became a member of the Massachusetts Bar. A year later, he ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 4th congressional district, hoping to succeed Father Robert Drinan, who had left Congress following a call by Pope John Paul II for priests to withdraw from political positions. In the Democratic primary held on September 16, 1980 Frank won 51.3% of the vote in a four-candidate field. His nearest opponent, Arthur J. Clark won 45.9% and finished almost 4,500 votes behind. As the Democratic nominee, Frank faced Republican Richard A. Jones in the general election and won narrowly, 51.9% to 48.1%.

For his first term, Frank represented a district in the western and southern suburbs of Boston, anchored by Brookline and Newton, Massachusetts. However, in 1982, redistricting forced him to run against Republican Margaret Heckler, who represented a district centered on the South Coast, including Fall River and New Bedford. Although the newly configured district retained Frank's district number — the 4th — it was geographically more Heckler's district. Frank focused on Heckler's initial support for President Ronald Reagan's tax cuts, and won by 20 percentage points. He has not faced credible opposition since, and has been reelected thirteen times.

In 1990, The House Ethics Committee recommended Frank be reprimanded because he "reflected discredit upon the House" by using his congressional office to fix 33 of Steve Gobie's parking tickets.

Frank confirmed that he paid Gobie for sex, hired him with personal funds as an aide and wrote letters on congressional stationery on his behalf to Virginia probation officials, but Frank said he fired Gobie when he learned that prostitution clients were visiting the apartment.

After an investigation, the Ethics Committee found no evidence that Frank had known of or been involved in the alleged illegal activity and dismissed all of Gobie's more scandalous claims.

Attempts to expel or censure Frank, led by Republican member Larry Craig (who himself was later embroiled in his own gay sexual scandal), failed. Rather, the House voted 408-18 to reprimand Frank who later won re-election in 1990 with 66 percent of the vote, and has won by larger margins ever since.

Through the 1990 Immigration Act, Frank was a major force in removing restrictions on based on "sexual preference exclusion" which had been explicitly prohibited by early immigration law. In 1998, Frank founded the National Stonewall Democrats, the national LGBT Democratic organization. In February 2009, Frank was one of three openly gay members of Congress, along with Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Jared Polis of Colorado.

Frank is known for his witty, self-deprecating sense of humor. He once famously quipped that he was unable to complete his review of the Starr Report detailing President Bill Clinton's relationship with Monica Lewinsky, complaining that it was "too much reading about heterosexual sex". In 2004 and again in 2006, a survey of Capitol Hill staffers published in Washingtonian gave Frank the title of the "brainiest", "funniest", and "most eloquent" member of the House.

In Congress, Frank is an ardent supporter of medical marijuana. He was the author of the States' Rights to Medical Marijuana Act (H.R. 2592), an attempt to stop federal government from intervening with states' medical marijuana laws. Frank consistently voted for the Hinchey-Rohrabacher amendment, annually proposed by Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), that would prohibit the United States Department of Justice from prosecuting medical marijuana patients. As of March 2008, he is trying to pass the Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults Act of 2008 (HR 5843), which would decriminalize small amounts of the drug.

Frank has also partnered with Ron Paul in support of online gambling rights. In 2006, both strongly opposed H.R. 4777, the Internet Gambling Prohibition and Enforcement Act, and H.R. 4411, the Goodlatte-Leach Internet Gambling Prohibition Act. To restore online gambling rights, in 2007 Frank sponsored H.R. 2046, the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act. This bill would have established licensing and regulation of online gaming sites. It provided for age verification and protections for compulsive gamblers. In 2008, he and Paul introduced H.R. 5767, the Payment Systems Protection Act, a bill that sought to place a moratorium on enforcement of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act while the United States Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve defined "unlawful Internet gambling". As a result of these efforts, Frank (who does not gamble) has become a hero to poker players and online gamblers, including many Republicans.

Frank has a 100% rating from NARAL. He voted against the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, against the Unborn Victims of Violence Act and against the criminalization of the transportation of minors across state lines by non-family members to circumvent local abortion laws.

As of the 111th Congress, Frank is advocating a 25 percent reduction in the overall Military budget of the United States. "The math is compelling: if we do not make reductions approximating 25 percent of the military budget starting fairly soon, it will be impossible to continue to fund an adequate level of domestic activity...," wrote Frank. He claimed that such a significant reduction would have no effect on the United States' ability to defend itself. "If," he said," "beginning one year from now, we were to cut military spending by 25 percent from its projected levels, we would still be immeasurably stronger than any combination of nations with whom we might be engaged." The U.S. military budget is almost equivalent to the rest of the world's defense spending combined, and is over eight times larger than that of China, the next biggest spender.

Conservative groups have criticized Frank for campaign contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac ($42,350 between 1989 and 2008). They further claim the donations influenced his support of their lending programs, and they have partially blamed Frank for not playing a stronger role in reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the years leading up to the Economic crisis of 2008. In addition, Frank's former partner, Herb Moses, was an executive at Fannie from 1991 to 1998, where Moses helped develop many of Fannie’s affordable housing and home improvement lending programs. In 1991, Frank pushed for reduced restrictions on two- and three-family home mortgages. Frank and Moses' relationship ended around the same time Moses left the company; Frank's support of Fannie and Freddie predated and continued past that relationship.

Frank was also instrumental in the passage of H.R. 5244, the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights Act of 2008, a measure that drew praise from editorial boards and consumer advocates.

In 2007 Frank co-sponsored legislation to reform the Section 202 refinancing program, which is for affordable housing for the elderly, and Section 811 disabled programs. Frank has been a chief advocate of the National Housing Trust Fund, which was created as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 and was the first affordable housing program to be enacted by the Congress since 1990.

President Bill Clinton's former speechwriter Josh Gottheimer noted in his book, Ripples of Hope: Great American Civil Rights Speeches, that Frank is one of the nation's "brightest and most energetic defenders of civil rights issues".

Frank resides in a studio apartment complex in Newton, Massachusetts. His boyfriend, Jim Ready, 39, is a surfing enthusiast whom Frank met during a gay political fund raiser in Maine, where Ready still lives. His sister is Ann Lewis, who served as a senior adviser in Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign.

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Larry Craig

Larry Craig

Larry Edwin Craig (born July 20, 1945) is an American politician from the state of Idaho. He served as a Republican in the United States Senate from 1991 to 2009. In addition, Craig served in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Idaho's 1st congressional district (1981–1991). Including his service in the House of Representatives, Craig is the second-longest serving member of the United States Congress in Idaho history, trailing only William Edgar Borah. In addition to serving in Congress, Craig has been a member of the Board of Directors of the National Rifle Association since 1983. Craig has also been selected for induction into the Idaho Hall of Fame. Although he was selected in March 2007, the announcement was made in October 2007.

On August 27, 2007 the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call revealed that Craig had been arrested for homosexual lewd conduct in the men's restroom at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on June 11, 2007, and entered a guilty plea to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct on August 8, 2007. As a result of the controversy surrounding his arrest and subsequent guilty plea, Senator Craig announced his intention to resign from the Senate at a news conference on September 1, 2007, which was to become effective on September 30, 2007. After failing to withdraw his guilty plea, on October 4, 2007, Craig released a statement refusing to resign as senator for Idaho.

Craig was not a candidate for re-election in 2008. He was succeeded by Lieutenant Governor and former Governor Jim Risch, a fellow Republican, who won Craig's Senate seat in the November 2008 election.

Craig was born in Council, Idaho, to Dorothy Lenore McCord and Elvin Oren Craig. He grew up on a ranch outside Midvale in Washington County. In 1969 he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Idaho. At the University of Idaho he was student body president. He pursued graduate studies at George Washington University before returning to his family's Midvale ranching business in 1971. Craig was a member of the Idaho Army National Guard from 1970 to 1972, attaining the rank of Private First Class (E3), after which he received an honorable discharge.

Craig married Suzanne Thompson in 1983 and adopted the three children she had from a previous marriage. Through his adopted children, Craig has nine grandchildren.

Craig was elected to the Idaho Senate in 1974 and reelected in 1976 and 1978.

In 1980 Craig was elected to an open seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Idaho's 1st congressional district. He succeeded Republican Steve Symms, who left the House and was elected to the Senate after defeating Democrat Frank Church. Craig was re-elected four times, serving until 1991. While in the House, he supported President Ronald Reagan's push to expand vocational education.

Allegations of cocaine use and sex with male teenage congressional pages by unnamed congressmen were pursued by investigators and journalists in 1982. Craig issued a statement denying involvement. Craig stated "Persons who are unmarried as I am, by choice or by circumstance, have always been the subject of innuendos, gossip and false accusations. I think this is despicable." Craig served on the House Ethics Committee. In 1989 Craig was reported to have led an extended effort that pushed for more severe punishment of Representative Barney Frank for his involvement in a gay prostitution scandal.

Craig announced his candidacy for the 1990 Senate election for the seat vacated by the retiring James A. McClure. Craig defeated Idaho Attorney General Jim Jones in the Republican primary. In the general election he defeated Democratic former Idaho Legislature member Ron J. Twilegar with 57 percent of the vote.

In 1995, Craig formed a barbershop quartet called The Singing Senators with Senators Trent Lott, John Ashcroft, and James Jeffords.

Craig was reelected in 1996, again with 57 percent of the vote, defeating Democrat Walt Minnick. He was reelected again in the 2002 election with 65 percent of the vote, when he spent $3.2 million to defeat Alan Blinken.

Craig served as Senate Republican Policy Committee chairman from 1997 until 2003. During this time, he exposed Clinton Administration support for Iranian arms shipments to Bosnia and Herzegovina. He then became chairman of the Special Committee on Aging. After the Democrats gained control of the Senate in the 2006 Congressional election, Craig became the ranking member of the Committee on Veterans' Affairs and a member of the Appropriations Committee and the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. He served as the ranking member of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee. Amid the controversy surrounding his arrest and guilty plea to charges of disorderly conduct, Craig temporarily stepped aside as ranking member on the Veterans' Affairs Committee and two subcommittees in August 2007.

Craig is a long-time, leading advocate for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the United States Constitution.

In May 2003, Craig put a hold on more than 200 Air Force promotions in an attempt to pressure the Air Force to station four new C-130 cargo planes in Idaho, claiming he received a commitment from the Air Force almost seven years earlier that the planes would be delivered. Defense Department officials said the reason the C-130s had not been sent to Idaho was that no new aircraft were being manufactured for the type of transport mission done by the Idaho Air National Guard unit where Craig wanted the planes delivered.

Craig supports the guest worker program proposed by President George W. Bush. In April 2005, Craig tried to amend an Iraq War supplemental bill with an AgJOBS amendment that would have granted legal status to between 500,000 and one million illegal immigrants in farm work. The amendment failed with 53 votes (60 votes were needed because the amendment was not germane to the underlying bill). A version of the AgJOBS bill legislation was included in the Senate-passed immigration reform bill in 2006. Craig, the principal sponsor of AgJOBS, continues to support amnesty for illegal immigrants who are "trusted workers with a significant work history in American agriculture." This position has been sharply criticized by anti-immigration activists. On June 26, 2007, Craig reiterated his support for the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007.

On December 16, 2005, Craig voted against a cloture motion filed relative to the USA PATRIOT Act; the motion ultimately earned only 52 votes, and so a Democratic filibuster against extension of the act (due to expire at the end of 2005) was permitted to continue. On December 21, 2005, Craig backed a six-month extension of the Act while further negotiations took place. On February 9, 2006, Craig announced an agreement among himself, the White House, and fellow Senators John E. Sununu, Arlen Specter, Lisa Murkowski, Chuck Hagel, and Richard Durbin to reauthorize the Act.

In 2006 Craig posted to his Senate website all the earmarks he had inserted into federal spending bills since joining the Senate Appropriations Committee in 1998.

The American Conservative Union rated Craig's 2005 voting record at 96 out of 100 points, while the Americans for Democratic Action rated him at 15 points. Craig supported the Federal Marriage Amendment, which barred extension of rights to same-sex couples; he voted for cloture on the amendment in both 2004 and 2006, and was a cosponsor in 2008. However, in late 2006 he appeared to endorse the right of individual states to create same-sex civil unions, but said he would vote "yes" on an Idaho constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages when pressured to clarify his position by the anti-gay rights advocacy group Families for a Better Idaho. Craig voted against cloture in 2002, which would have extended the federal definition of hate crimes to cover sexual orientation. This legislation was passed in 2007 in both the House and the Senate as the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007. Craig voted against the measure. The LGBT advocacy group the Human Rights Campaign issued guides to candidates' voting records in 2004. The Human Rights Campaign group gave him a 0 rating.

Prior to the nomination of Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne, Craig was mentioned as a possible candidate to succeed Gale Norton as United States Secretary of the Interior in March 2006.

In 2007, Idaho Hall of Fame Association inducted Larry Craig into the Idaho Hall of Fame, despite his well-publicized arrest and guilty plea in an airport sex sting, following the failure to appeal. He had been picked in March 2007, months before the arrest.

At 1216 hours, Craig tapped his right foot. I recognized this as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct. Craig tapped his toes several times and moves his foot closer to my foot. ... The presence of others did not seem to deter Craig as he moved his right foot so that it touched the side of my left foot which was within my stall area. Craig then proceeded to swipe his left hand under the stall divider several times, with the palm of his hand facing upward.

According to the incident report and criminal complaint filed in court, the officer showed Craig his police identification beneath the partition separating their stalls, and the officer then pointed his finger towards the restroom exit. Craig initially said no, but he ultimately complied with the officer's request to leave the restroom. After Craig and the officer left the restroom, Craig was reluctant to go with the officer and demanded the officer show his police identification a second time. Once the officer complied with the request, Craig, the arresting officer, and a police detective, who was stationed outside of the restroom, went to the airport police station.

After the arresting officer read Craig his Miranda rights, the officer interviewed Craig about the restroom incident. At one point, Craig handed his business card to the arresting officer, which identified him as a U.S. Senator, and said to him, "What do you think about that?" Craig told the officer that he was worried about missing his flight, and the arresting officer asked the police detective to call the airline to hold the flight. The detective reported that no one answered the telephone for the airline, and the arresting officer proceeded with the interview.

When the officer asked Craig about the use of his hands, Craig said that he reached down with his right hand to pick up a piece of paper that was on the floor. The officer disputed Craig's version by saying, "there was not a piece of paper on the bathroom floor, nor did Craig pick up a piece of paper." Craig also disputed the officer's assertion about the position of his hand, claiming that his right palm was faced down as he picked up the paper from the floor. The officer disputed Craig's version, alleging that Craig used his left hand because his thumb, "was positioned in a faceward motion." During the interview and in the incident report, the officer commented that Craig either disagreed with what happened in the restroom or could not recall the events as they happened.

Craig returned to the airport on June 22 to complain about how he had been treated by the police. According to the police report about Craig's return, Craig said he wanted information for his lawyer.

Craig pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct by signing and mailing a plea petition, dated August 1, 2007, to the Hennepin County District Court in Minnesota. He paid $575, including fines and fees. Senator Craig signed the petition to enter his guilty plea, which contained the provisions, "I understand that the court will not accept a plea of guilty from anyone who claims to be innocent... I now make no claim that I am innocent of the charge to which I am entering a plea of guilty." Craig mailed his signed petition to the court, and his petition to plead guilty to the misdemeanor charge was accepted and filed by the court on August 8, 2007.

I am not gay. I never have been gay.... In June, I overreacted and made a poor decision. I chose to plead guilty to a lesser charge in hopes of making it go away.... Please let me apologize to my family, friends and staff and fellow Idahoans for the cloud placed over Idaho. I did nothing wrong at the Minneapolis airport. I did nothing wrong, and I regret the decision to plead guilty and the sadness that decision has brought on my wife, on my family, friends, staff and fellow Idahoans.

Craig claimed that his state of mind was troubled at the time of the guilty plea because he and his family " been relentlessly and viciously harassed" by the Idaho Statesman in the course of its investigation into allegations of Craig's homosexuality and its August 28 article. On August 30, the Statesman called for Craig's resignation. In response to questions about the arrest, the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport Police Department released an audiotape of Craig's interview with Sergeant Dave Karsnia, the arresting officer. In that interview, Craig denied wrongdoing and claimed that he was a victim of entrapment.

A Washington watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, filed a complaint with the Senate Ethics Committee requesting an investigation into whether Craig violated Senate Rules of Conduct. Members of the Republican Party in Congress began calling for Craig to resign, including Representative Pete Hoekstra (R-MI), Senator John McCain (R-AZ), and Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN). Coleman and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) announced that they will donate campaign contributions received from Craig's political action committee to charity.

Senate GOP leaders including Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Trent Lott (R-MS) asked Craig to "temporarily step down as the top Republican on the Veterans Affairs Committee, Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior and Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests." Craig subsequently agreed to step down from those posts as the ranking Minority member. Patrick Sammon, president of the Log Cabin Republicans, issued a statement condemning the senator's actions.

At a news conference on September 1, 2007, Craig announced his intent to resign, "with sadness and deep regret", effective September 30, 2007. On September 4, 2007, a spokesperson for Craig indicated that he was reconsidering his decision to resign, if his conviction was rapidly overturned and his committee assignments were restored.

Craig's motion hearing to withdraw his guilty plea was held on September 26, 2007 before Judge Charles A. Porter, Jr. Craig’s Washington D.C. attorney, William Martin argued Craig’s actions couldn't be considered disorderly conduct because "you should have either touching, or words, or a combination of the two." The other main argument was made by Craig’s Minneapolis attorney, Thomas Kelly, who argued that the mail-in petition used by Craig was "defective" because it lacked a judge’s signature. On September 26, 2007, Craig released a statement that he would remain in office until the Hennepin County District Court judge has ruled on his motion to withdraw his guilty plea.

After Porter's ruling, Craig announced that he would serve out his Senate term, despite his pledge to the contrary, to "continue my effort to clear my name in the Senate Ethics Committee — something that is not possible if I am not serving in the Senate." Craig did not seek reelection in 2008 and left office on January 3, 2009.

In September 2008, Craig's attorney argued before an appellate court that there was insufficient evidence for any court to find Craig guilty of the misdemeanor. In December 2008, a three-judge panel of the Minnesota Court of Appeals rejected his attempt to have the guilty plea tossed out and rejected the constitutional challenge to the charges.

On January 8, 2009, Craig dropped his appeal to the Minnesota State Supreme Court after his attorney determined that the Court would be unlikely to accept a petition for further review of the case, bringing the legal challenge to his guilty plea to an end.

On February 13, 2008, the Senate Ethics Committee sent a letter of admonition to Craig stating that his "improper conduct" had reflected "discreditably" on the United States Senate. The Committee believed that Craig had indeed committed the actions to which he had pleaded guilty, and that Craig's efforts to withdraw his guilty plea were intended to evade the ramifications of his actions. The Committee reported that Craig had spent $213,000 of campaign funds on legal fees and public relations fees on the case, which it felt showed Craig's disregard of ethics. Campaign funds may only pay legal bills when they are related to the Senator's official duties.

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Tammy Baldwin

Tammy Baldwin presiding over the House while serving as Speaker Pro Tempore

Tammy Suzanne Green Baldwin (born February 11, 1962) is an American politician, and has been a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives since 1999, representing Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district.

Baldwin was born to Pamela Green and grew up in Madison, Wisconsin. Baldwin graduated from Madison West High School in 1980 as the class valedictorian. She earned a bachelor's degree from Smith College in 1984, and a law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1989.

Baldwin was first elected to political office in 1986 when she was elected to the Dane County Board of Supervisors, a position that she held until 1994. She also served one year on the Madison, Wisconsin City Council to fill a vacancy in the coterminous district. Baldwin then served in the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1993 to 1999 and was elected to the House in 1998.

Baldwin is the first woman elected to Congress from the state of Wisconsin, and is currently serving her fifth term. She was also the first ever openly gay non-incumbent to be elected to the House of Representatives, her election having won the backing of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund. As of January 6, 2009, Baldwin is one of three openly gay members of Congress, the others being Barney Frank of Massachusetts and Jared Polis of Colorado. Her domestic partner is Lauren Azar. She is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

On August 1, 2007, Tammy Baldwin signed on to cosponsor H. Res. 333, a bill proposing articles of impeachment against Vice President Dick Cheney and H Res. 589, a bill proposing the impeachment of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

On July 26, 2004, she spoke at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in prime time on the issue of health care. For the 2008 presidential election, she pledged as a superdelegate to Hillary Clinton.

On October 10, 2002, Tammy Baldwin was among the 133 members of the House who voted against authorizing the invasion of Iraq.

During the 110th Congress, Baldwin has authored several pieces of legislation that have been passed by the House. The Reeve Paralysis Act authorizes more funding for treating ailments that result in imobility, while National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program Act increases funding for low-income women to receive preventative screenings. Another bill that she authored, the Veteran Vision Equity Act, guarantees benefits for military veterans.

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Chuck Morse

Chuck Morse is a conservative American journalist, author and radio talk show host from Boston, Massachusetts. Morse ran a write-in campaign against incumbent Barney Frank for the 2006 Massachusetts's 4th congressional district elections, as he did not get enough certified signatures to appear on the ballot. The total possible percentage of votes Morse could have received as a write-in candidate in the 2006 election would be 1.2% of the total vote. As of 2/8/2007, Chuck Morse's campaign fund is currently in debt by $51,321 In 2004, Morse lost 78%-22% to Frank.

Morse opposes Frank's 1990 amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Act, which barred immigrants being denied visas "because of any past, current, or expected beliefs, statements, or associations which, if engaged in by a United States citizen in the United States, would be protected under the Constitution of the United States." Morse claims that this legislation made it easier for the terrorists who carried out the September 11, 2001 attacks to enter the country.

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United States House Committee on Financial Services

Meeting of the House Financial Services Committee

The United States House Committee on Financial Services (or House Banking Committee) oversees the entire financial services industry, including the securities, insurance, banking, and housing industries. The Committee also oversees the work of the Federal Reserve, the United States Department of the Treasury, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and other financial services regulators. It is chaired by Barney Frank (D-MA) and the ranking Republican is Spencer Bachus (R-AL).

The committee was once known as the Committee on Banking and Currency. The Banking and Currency Committee was created in 1865 to take over responsibilities previously handled by the Ways and Means Committee. It continued to function under this name until 1968, when it assumed the current name.

The Financial Services Committee operates with 6 subcommittees. This is an increase from 5 subcommittees in the 110th Congress. The former Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade, and Technology Subcommitee has been split into two subcommittees.

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Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults Act of 2008

The Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults Act of 2008 is a bill in the United States House of Representatives introduced by Barney Frank (D-MA) on April 17, 2008 as H.R. 5843. Its passage would eliminate federal criminal penalties for possession of up to 100 grams (3.5 oz) and nonprofit transfer of up to an ounce of cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act. It does not change the regulation on the manufacturing or the sale of cannabis. It is the first bill of its kind to be introduced at the federal level in the U.S. since 1984. As of April 24, 2008, HR 5843 has 5 cosponsors including support upon introduction by 2008 U.S. presidential candidate Ron Paul (R-TX).

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), and the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) had a large hand in the formation of bill, working closely with Rep. Frank. The bill also as mentioned earlier relied heavily also on information and advice from the federally-funded National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse.

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Source : Wikipedia