At an American Bankers Association summit last week, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) urged the bankers to fight financial reform. To make his point, he bashed people who work in Congress and called them “little punk staffers“:
“Don’t let those little punk staffers take advantage of you and stand up for yourselves,” Boehner said. “All of us are hearing from our friends and constituents on lack of credit, you can’t get a loan, the more your government takes and taxes, the more regulations you have to comply with the more cost you have there and less amount you are going to have available to loan to customers.”
White House National Economic Council Director Larry Summers fired back at Boehner, pointing out that the biggest problem in the financial system certainly isn’t that bankers do not have enough of a voice in the policy process. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) wrote Boehner a letter and called on him to apologize: “I am appalled that a Leader of the House, who must know what good work is done by our staffs, would take such an inaccurate cheap-shot at these people, for the purpose of ingratiating himself with bankers.” A House staffer told ThinkProgress today that Frank is now distributing “Little Punk Staffer” buttons to Hill aides, in a clear shot at Boehner’s insult.