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Barney Frank: Mitt Romney's Dodd-Frank, Obamacare Ideas 'Impossible'

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BARNEY FRANK MITT ROMNEY
AP

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney took aim at Dodd-Frank financial reform during Wednesday's debate, but Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who co-authored the reform bill, didn't take the criticism too seriously.

"Whether it's tax deductions or Obamacare or financial reform ... the lack of specificity is really an admission by Romney that what he's proposing is impossible," Frank told The Huffington Post in an interview after the debate. "It's the notion, 'Oh, I'll just sit down with Congress and negotiate with Congress.'"

Romney, who said he would "repeal and replace" Dodd-Frank if elected president, said he thinks the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 has "hurt the housing market."

"We don't know what a qualified mortgage is yet, so banks are reluctant to make loans, mortgages," Romney said.

Frank slammed this attack as "totally inaccurate," noting, "The housing market has been getting better, not worse." He added that since regulators have not defined what a qualified mortgage is, the policy "has no effect" on loans now, which "will not be covered by this."

Romney also claimed during the debate that Dodd-Frank "designates a number of banks as too big to fail, and they're effectively guaranteed by the federal government."

Frank said that, in fact, banks have "resisted" getting labeled too big to fail. He added that Dodd-Frank subjects financial firms to "much tougher supervisions" and that if a firm "gets into so much debt that they can't pay off all their debts, they are put out of business."

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