Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

Unlikely alliance: Congressman Barney Frank and the Tea Party

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At first glance it would appear that Congressman Barney Frank and lawmakers backed by the Tea Party movement would have little in common — one is a liberal Democrat, the others are conservative Republicans.

Look again.

FINANCE-SUMMIT/Frank said his quest to reduce military spending will probably attract Tea Party lawmakers who campaigned on a platform of fiscal discipline, even to cuts in an area that typically meet strong resistance from Republicans.

“I think the notion of nation building, of America enforcing stability over the world … is wasted money because it doesn’t work,” Frank told the Reuters Future Face of Finance summit. “I think there’s some potential alliance there.”

Frank also sees another area in which the Tea Party might be allies — any attempt by the Republican majority in the House to roll back reforms on derivatives in the wake of the financial crisis. “If they were to try to roll back derivatives regulation legislatively, yes, the Tea Party people would be allies of ours,” he said.

Hensarling proud of fiscal conservative creds, embraces Tea Party allies

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It is clear that House Financial Services Committee Vice Chairman Jeb Hensarling is proud of his credentials as a fiscal conservative.

He may have more competition for that label after the November election swept in members of the Tea Party. But he sees that as a good thing. FINANCE-SUMMIT/HENSARLING

Rumors of our demise exaggerated, Van Hollen says

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SUMMIT-WASHINGTON/VAN HOLLENRepresentative Chris Van Hollen likes to paraphrase Mark Twain when talking about the Democratic chances in the November mid-term election.

“News of the Democratic demise is greatly exaggerated,” the man in charge of the House Democrats’ election effort told the Reuters Washington Summit. “I think the pundits have been wrong before and they’ll be wrong again. Democrats will retain a majority in the Congress. I’m very confident of that.”

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