Rep. Frank: Some members of Congress are 'vegetables'

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) slammed Republican members of Congress for including a measure that blocks stringent school meal standards and classifying tomato paste on pizza as a vegetable in a larger spending bill.

"I think the answer is there are some members of Congress who are vegetables and they were easily influenced to vote for it," said Frank on MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports" Friday.

The bill bars the Department of Agriculture from putting in place tough new standards that are scheduled to go into effect next year following intense lobbying from the pizza and french fry industries.

House Democrats condemned a 2012 spending bill — which also includes a continuing resolution allowing the government to operate through Dec. 16 — for containing several policy riders they say have no place in the bill.

The Massachusetts Democrat said a reduction in funding for the Commodities Futures Trading Commission also included in the bill was "far worse" than the pizza classification.

"I was very torn on that bill, and the problem was, yes, I did vote for it in the end," Frank said.

Frank said he chose to vote in favor of the legislation because it included housing provisions he felt were important.

"We never had a chance to vote on that particular amendment … you had to vote 'yes' or 'no,' so a lot of thing got through that shouldn't have gotten through," he added.