Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) turned 71 last Thursday, and members of a House Financial Services subcommittee gave him some love.
Freshman Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) even reached across the aisle to give Frank a birthday present, albeit a very Washington kind of gift.
Speaking halfway through the hearing, Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) was first to note that it was Frank’s birthday, requesting a point of order to mark his colleague’s milestone.
The subcommittee’s chairman, Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.), nodded and wished Frank a happy birthday, which garnered applause from the packed room.
Appearing to sense that Frank might have something pithy to contribute, Garrett yielded to him for “a retort.”
The notoriously quick-witted lawmaker didn’t disappoint.
“I would simply say that, while the gentleman's time has expired, I'm pleased to say that at least I have not, as yet.”
The last word wasn’t the only thing that Frank got for his birthday, however.
A few minutes later Grimm offered his ideological adversary a gift that only a politician could appreciate: He agreed with him.
“I do have to admit,” Grimm began, “And maybe because it's his birthday -- I agree with ranking member Frank, and that will be his birthday present, [my agreement] the [home mortgage] interest deduction should not go away.”
Frank didn’t expressly acknowledge Grimm’s gift, but given the state of budget negotiations in the House, even a little common ground can feel like a splurge.