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Michele Bachmann and Barney Frank may be heading for legislative showdown

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Minnesota’s 6th District Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann might be headed toward something of a showdown next week with the pugnacious chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Massachusetts Democratic Rep.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Minnesota’s 6th District Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann might be headed toward something of a showdown with the pugnacious chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Barney Frank.

During a markup of the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act of 2009 this week, Bachmann successfully offered an amendment on voice vote that would prohibit funding in the bill from going to organizations or individuals that have been indicted for voter fraud.

“I want to ensure that organizations, such as ACORN, are prohibited from receiving funds while simultaneously facing charges of voter fraud and tax violations,” Bachmann said in a press release.

Although ACORN has had its share of legal troubles over the years, including an embezzlement scandal and problematic voter registration issues, the group said that it has never been indicted for voter fraud.

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Frank didn’t realize the full implications of the amendment until after it had passed.

In a statement, Frank said Thursday:

“I made a mistake yesterday in not objecting to the Bachmann amendment. I did not read it carefully, and it was in the last minute that the amendment was accepted.

“It is a deeply flawed amendment and I am opposed to it.

“Banning people from possible participation in government programs based on an indictment is a violation of the basic principles of due process, and I intend to offer a corrected amendment when the bill comes to the floor of the House next week.”

In response, Bachmann penned an article on Townhall.com criticizing Frank’s proposed changes to her amendment.

“Chairman Barney Frank accepted the amendment right there in front of the whole committee,” Bachmann wrote.

“Later that day, Chairman Frank said he had reservations about my amendment and would discuss them with me.  His staff approached mine with specific changes he would like to make — changes which eviscerate the meaning of the amendment and were clearly not acceptable,” Bachmann said.

One of Frank’s changes, Bachmann said, included using the word “conviction” instead of “indictment.”