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William Eldridge "Bill" Frenzel (born Saint Paulmarker, July 31, 1928) is a former Republican Congressman from Minnesotamarker, representing Minnesota's Third District, which included the southern and western suburbs of Minneapolismarker.

Early life and career

Frenzel was educated at the Saint Paul Academy in Saint Paul, Minnesota, earned a B.A. from Dartmouth Collegemarker in 1950 and an M.A. from Dartmouth the following year. He served as a lieutenant in the United States Naval Reserve during the Korean War from 1951 to 1954.

Frenzel served eight years in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1962 to 1970, prior to serving in the U.S. Congress. He was president of the Minneapolis Terminal Warehouse Company from 1966 to 1970, and has officiated other corporations. He was a member of the executive committee for Hennepin County, Minnesotamarker from 1966 to 1967.

House of Representatives

Frenzel was elected as a Republican to the 92nd, 93rd, 94th, 95th, 96th, 97th, 98th, 99th, 100th, and 101st congresses, serving from January 3, 1971 to January 3, 1991, and was the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee and a member of the influential Ways and Means Committee. He was a Congressional Representative to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in Genevamarker for 15 years. Frenzel became known as an expert in budget and fiscal policy, election law, trade, taxes and congressional procedures, and was a negotiator in the 1990 budget summit. He also served as vice chairman of the Committee on House Administration, and vice chairman of the Commission on Congressional Mailing Standards. He did not run for re-election to the House in 1990.

Post-Congressional Career

Frenzel was president of the Ripon Society, a Republican think-tank, from the 1990s until March 2004. He has been a Guest Scholar at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, since January 1991, and was named director of the Brookings Governmental Affairs Institute on July 18, 1997.

In 2001, President George W. Bush appointed him to a commission to study the Social Security system, and, in 2002, to the Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations (ACTPN), which he chairs. He was interviewed on NPR's All Things Considered, on December 20, 2004, as an advocate of President Bush's plan to privatize Social Security.

He is currently chairman of the Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care, the Vice Chairman of the Eurasia Foundation, Chairman of the Japan-America Society of Washington, Chairman of the U.S. Steering Committee of the Transatlantic Policy Network, Co-Chairman of the Center for Strategic Tax Reform, Co-Chairman of the Bretton Woods Committee, Co-Chairman of the Committee For A Responsible Federal Budget, a member of the Executive Committee of the Committee on U.S.marker-Chinamarker Relations, and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the International Tax and Investment Center.

Policy opinions

On political gridlock

Frenzel wrote in 1995:

 (Checks and Balances, 8)

On the Prevention of Genocide Act

Frenzel was the only U.S. politician to take a public stand against the Prevention of Genocide Act of 1988, written by Peter W. Galbraith to impose economic sanctions against Iraq for the gassing of the Kurdish city of Halabjamarker in northern Iraqmarker during the Anfal Campaign of the Iran–Iraq War, in 1988. Frenzel said:

The bill passed the Senate but was not approved by Congress before it adjourned in late 1988.


Frenzel and his wife Ruth have three daughters. In 2000, he was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, by the Emperor of Japan. In 2002, he received an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from Hamline Universitymarker.


  1. John McCaslin, "Inside the Beltway", Washington Times, March 19, 2004
  2. "The Forgotten People: One Man's Battle to Stop Iraq", Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, March 26, 2003

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