Chairman Barney Frank has been a champion for international debt relief and responsible lending and borrowing since the late 1990s, making him one of the major political actors of the global Jubilee movement. His leadership has resulted in winning more than 120 billion dollars in debt relief for the world’s poorest people, allowing those dollars to be invested in development, education and healthcare initiatives. These victories have allowed millions to attend school and receive life-saving vaccinations.
Jubilee USA joined the Bank Information Center, the AFL-CIO, ActionAid, Oil Change International, Friends of the Earth and Gender Action to thank Chairman Frank for his efforts for international financial reform at a special reception, dinner and storytelling at the House Rayburn Building in September. Hat's off to Chad Dobson and his team at the Bank Information Center for pulling our community together to celebrate Chairman Frank's accolade. Our Executive Director, Eric LeCompte, joined Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Maxine Waters, Rep. Gwen Moore, Thea Lee and Damon Silvers from the AFL-CIO, Will Gartshore from the World Wildlife Fund and Lori Udall, Montpelier Consulting to thank Chairman Frank for his many accomplishments during his tenure as a United States Representative and as Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.
Due to Chairman Frank’s efforts, more than 25 nations have had the ability to develop much needed infrastructure and services. Since 2004, he has been a champion and original co-sponsor on all Jubilee legislation, including the Jubilee Act in the 108th, 109th and 111th Congresses. His leadership on the House Financial Services Committee led to the passage of the Jubilee Act in 2008.
Following the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Chairman Frank immediately recognized the need to relieve all of Haiti’s debt and to create an opportunity for the people of Haiti to build in the aftermath - a Haiti free from debts it could not repay. He pushed for and won full debt cancellation for Haiti in the amount of 1.2 billion dollars, allowing the country to focus on rebuilding rather than repaying. Additionally, Chairman Frank was integral in pursuing and achieving the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI), which provides for 100% debt relief for some of the world’s poorest nations. It’s important to note that it has been his leadership, through several of these initiatives, that has led to greater reforms at the IMF and other International Financial Institutions.
We also highlighted his leadership in creating the World Bank Inspection Panel which has a track record of improving project quality, enhancing benefits and reducing impacts to project-affected people, in protecting worker’s rights through the World Bank’s Doing Business project and for Chairman Frank’s work in creating transparency and promoting anti-corruption in Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Amendment in the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Chairman Frank’s legislation and actions have served as a model for other global political leaders to move similar legislation and actions in their own countries. He has worked determinedly to speak on behalf of the most vulnerable. His unwavering commitment to support and empower those who are marginalized in the United States and around the world will continue to leave an incredible impact for years to come.
Chairman Frank’s partnership in striving for justice have been invaluable; and as a voice speaking so loudly and eloquently on the side of good, will be missed greatly. We thank him for his tireless and critical work and wish him a happy retirement. Although, his retirement could be short lived, as Jubilee USA Executive Director Eric LeCompte noted at the dinner, there is an important role opening up at Treasury and we believe that Chairman Frank could be the right man for the job!