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The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that Rep. Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts), the new chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, is offering business leaders a proposition – if they support some Democratic priorities, then the new majority party in Congress will support some of the things that business wants.

"There are two outcomes possible," Frank said yesterday in a speech at the National Press Club. "Either people will join with us in solving the health-care problem, getting a humane immigration policy, good rules that welcome responsible foreign investment, going forward with trade with reasonable...environmental and labor standards, allowing people to join a union, and we will then be able to go forward in a pro-growth way, engage with the rest of the world, implement productivity-enhancing technology.” Or, he said, if business resists these changes, then “people should not be surprised when there is no renewal of trading authority, if you have resistance to sensible immigration policy. That's the choice that has to be made.”

However, the Journal also notes that Frank may be speaking more for himself than the Democratic Party, and that he may have difficulty delivering votes. And even Frank concedes this point, but says that he is trying to forge a more cooperative climate in the nation’s capital.
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