Barney Frank has told Massachusetts’ Governor, Deval Patrick, that he is happy to take up a temporary role as a US senator for the state.
Frank, who left the US House of Representatives after 32 years of service on Thursday, said he would like an interim appointment to fill the senate seat that would open if Massachusetts’ US Senator, John Kerry, is confirmed as secretary of state – Hillary Clinton is already stepping down from the role.
Speaking to NBC News, Frank said: “A few weeks ago, I said I wasn’t interested. It was kind of like, you’re about to graduate and they said, ‘you’ve got to go to summer school.’ But that [fiscal cliff] deal now means that February, March, and April are going to be among the most important months in American financial history”.
The 72-year-old went on to say: “Yes, in fact, I’m not going to be coy, it’s not anything I’ve ever been good at. I’ve told the governor that I would now like, frankly, to be a part of that. It’s only a three-month period, I wouldn’t want to do anything more, but to be honest, it’s a little arrogant.”
Frank, a former chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, played a pivotal role in both the negotiations over the Troubled Asset Relief Program and financial reform, where he passed legislation known as Dodd-Frank.
He was also the first congressman to voluntarily declare being gay, as well as being the first congressman to have a same-sex marriage while in office.
If Mr Frank were to be appointed as a temporary senator, he’d be the first openly gay male member of the US Senate.