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Barney Frank Criticizes House Republican On Jobs, Wall Street Reform

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WASHINGTON -- Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) lit into Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) on Sunday, when both appeared on ABC's "This Week."

The show started off civilly, with Frank responding to host George Stephanopoulos' questions about the political implications of President Barack Obama's endorsement of gay marriage. But when Blackburn answered the same questions by pivoting to a Republican talking point about women losing jobs under Obama, Frank responded with derision.

"This is a good political science lesson for people on what political parties' talking points are," Frank said. "My colleague Ms. Blackburn has been instructed to talk about the economics first, and while I would prefer to answer your questions, I do have to note that this Republican talking point that women have lost jobs -- the job losses came about because of the terrible recession that nonregulation in the economy brought about under George Bush."

"Oh I have to correct that," Blackburn interrupted. "That is incorrect information."

"George, what are the rules here?" Frank responded. From there, Blackburn repeatedly tried to talk over Frank's rebuttal of her point, with Stephanopoulos intervening to maintain coherent audio.

Blackburn had noted that nearly 858,000 women have lost their jobs under Obama. That figure is technically correct, but as Frank emphasized in his rebuttal, it's largely a result of public sector jobs being cut to appease Republican budget demands. While private sector jobs have been growing under Obama, public sector positions have been down sharply.

"In terms of jobs lost by women, part of the problem is that thanks to Republican objections to our efforts to provide help for states and cities, a lot of teachers have been fired, a lot of social workers, a lot of municipal employees," Frank said. Those are all areas with high levels of women workers.

Things got even more heated when Stephanopoulos shifted the topic of conversation to J.P. Morgan's recent $2 billion loss on a big derivatives trade gone wrong, and its implications for the policies enacted under the 2010 Wall Street reform bill.

"Bear in mind, the Dodd-Frank bill -- 2,300 pages, they've already had 400 rulemaking sessions and this is where you have so much regulation, you can't see the forest for the trees," Blackburn said.

"That's just nonsense," Frank interjected.

"It is not nonsense, Barney. And I think what we want to do is make certain that as we look at this, that we don't enshrine this too-big-to-fail."

That comment incensed Frank, who noted that Blackburn and all of her House Republican colleagues had voted against Dodd-Frank entirely, and that House Republicans were now trying to repeal the specific regulations on derivatives that would have applied to J.P. Morgan's surprising loss.

The exchange begins around 7:45 in the video below. video platform video management video solutions video player

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