POLITICS
05/20/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Barney Frank Gets Back At GOP Leader With 'Little Punk Staffer' Buttons

The debate over Sen. Chris Dodd's financial reform bill is heating up, with the top Republican in the House trading blows with President Obama and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.).

In his radio address on Saturday, the president cited House Minority Leader John Boehner's January meeting with JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, saying that Boehner has "made thwarting reform a key part of his party's pitch for campaign contributions."

And he denounced the multimillion-dollar advertising campaign launched by opponents of a proposed consumer financial protection agency: "You might call this 'air support' for the army of lobbyists already arm-twisting members of the committee to reject these reforms and block this consumer agency. Perhaps that's why, after months of working with Democrats, Republicans walked away from this proposal."

Boehner lashed back, his spokesman telling the New York Times: "It should be beneath him to use the official weekly address to make inaccurate partisan attacks."

Frank's own duel with Boehner over financial regulatory reform ratcheted up on Saturday, too -- last week, Boehner made headlines for telling the American Bankers Association conference not to let "little punk staffers" in Congress "take advantage of you." That remark was criticized by White House National Economic Council Director Larry Summers.

And today, Frank called on Boehner to apologize, reports Think Progress, writing a letter: "I am appalled that a Leader of the House, who must know what good work is done by our staffs, would take such an inaccurate cheap-shot at these people, for the purpose of ingratiating himself with bankers."

In addition, a House staffer told ThinkProgress that Frank is now distributing "Little Punk Staffer" buttons to Hill aides.