Former US Rep. Bill Frenzel dies at age 86

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Former member of the U.S. House of Representatives William "Bill" Frenzel died Monday in that state of Virginia at age 86.

Frenzel, a Republican, served eight years in the Minnesota Legislature before being elected to Congress to represent Minnesota's Third District. He served in Congress from 1971-1991, when he retired, the Economic Club of Minnesota – which Frenzel co-founded – said in a news release.

During his time in Congress, he became the ranking minority member on the House Budget Committee and was a member of the Ways and Means Committee, the release says.

MPR News says Frenzel was "one of the GOP's principal economic policy spokesmen" and was involved in U.S. trade policy until he died. President Barack Obama reappointed him to the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations in September.

After his retirement in 1991, he became a guest scholar at the Brookings Institute. He also stayed active in public policy, working to promote a balanced federal budget, MPR says.

"He was ever-ready with a quip, a cogent explanation and a quotable line when asked – and he was asked often," wrote Star Tribune reporter Lori Sturdevant, who kept in touch with Frenzel after he retired. She noted Frenzel's death was "keenly felt" in editorial offices across because he was always "generous with his abundant knowledge, even with journalists."

Frenzel is survived by his wife, Ruthy, and their three children and two grandchildren, according to his Brookings Institute bio.

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