Frank: Congress Proposed Recapitalizing Banks First

Congress, not the the Bush administration, first proposed spending $250 billion to buy stakes in large U.S. banks, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said on MSNBC on Tuesday.

"It's something that I and other members of Congress pushed [Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson] to do, not simply to buy up distressed assets, bad mortgages, but to put money into the banks," Frank said. Paulson received the power to purchase the bad assets in the bailout bill passed by Congress two weeks ago.

Frank said that Paulson is now taking the right step to unfreeze credit.

"He's doing it even more enthusiastically than I had hoped he would: He's going to provide money to the banks, to the big banks," Frank said.

He added that the new coordinated effort among industrial nations should help to stem the economic crisis. European nations, including by Great Britain, have also called for using public money to recapitalize troubled banks.

"You know, a couple of weeks ago, our European allies were, kind of, gloating that America was in trouble," Frank said. "That didn't last very long. They're gloating; suddenly they realized they're in this same situation."