Former Rep. Barney Frank wants interim appointment to replace Kerry in Senate

Outgoing Rep. Barney Frank has asked to be appointed as an interim senator to replace Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.). 

Frank, who just retired from Congress, said Friday that he had asked Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick for the appointment, which would put the outspoken Democrat in the Senate while Kerry seeks confirmation as secretary of State. 

Frank said he wanted the appointment so that he could serve during looming negotiations on the debt ceiling and sequester.

"I'm not going to be coy — it's not [something] I've ever been good at — I told the governor I would now like, frankly, to do that, because I would like to be part of that," Frank told MSNBC. "It would only be a three-month period; I wouldn't want to do anything more; I wouldn't run again."

Kerry was recently tapped to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of State, and his nomination is widely expected to earn confirmation from the Senate. Patrick would appoint a temporary replacement until a special election could be held later in the year.


ADVERTISEMENT
Frank said that while he could see how the request might seem "a little arrogant," he felt that his experience in Congress could benefit his home state during crucial negotiations. Under the "fiscal cliff" deal struck earlier this week, no resolution was reached on an extension of the debt ceiling, set to expire early this year, while deep sequestration cuts were only delayed two months.


"That deal now means February, March and April are going to be among the most important months in American financial history," Frank said.

He also said he didn't expect the appointment request, if granted, to significantly change his legacy.

"Thirty-two years in the House, three months in the Senate — I'm still a House man," Frank said.

Frank had previously indicated that he was open to serving in the position, although did not openly lobby for it.

“I’m not going to say ‘no’ to something that’s not been offered to me,” Frank told The Washington Post in late December.

Patrick said last month he expects to name someone "pretty quickly" and that he did not plan to appoint someone who would later seek the seat in the state's special election.

“I expect to appoint someone who does not plan to run for the seat because, practically, I think that’s going to be hard for that person to do successfully,” Patrick said, according to the Boston Herald.