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Barney Frank Blasts 'Inaccurate' GOP Claims About Federal Reserve

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Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.)
Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.)

Republican critics have taken issue with the Federal Reserve's stimulus measures in the past. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) believes it's time for voters to stop taking them seriously.

"[Republicans'] bitches and moans about the consequences of quantitative easing have been as inaccurate as the similar predictions they've made about same-sex marriage," Frank told The Huffington Post in a phone interview on Thursday. "None of the negative consequences they've said would happen have."

Frank, who became the first sitting member of Congress to marry someone of the same gender in July, said that the Federal Reserve's new quantitative easing measures will boost the economy through the "wealth effect," in which higher stock prices spur consumers and companies to spend more by making them feel wealthier.

"Congress was doing some good stuff in 2009 and 2010, and then the right wing took over the House and paralyzed it," Frank said. "The right wing cut off our efforts to help the economy."

Frank's comments come after the Federal Reserve announced Thursday that it would embark on a third round of quantitative easing, or asset purchases aimed at stimulating the economy. This time, the Fed said it would buy $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities per month on an open-ended basis. It also said it would keep interest rates near zero through the middle of 2015.

The Romney campaign attacked the Fed's announcement on Thursday, saying in a statement: "The American economy doesn't need more artificial and ineffective measures. We should be creating wealth, not printing dollars." Republican Congressmen also blasted the move, accusing the Fed of overreaching.

Contrary to Republican predictions of high inflation and the Federal Reserve losing money as a result of its stimulus measures, inflation has been low, and the Federal Reserve has been making a substantial profit largely thanks to its asset purchases, Frank noted. The Federal Reserve, Frank added, has been "absolutely" more responsible than Congress in addressing high unemployment "for one simple reason: there are no Tea Party members of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors."

Frank plans to retire from Congress at the end of his current term.

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