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House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) is supporting Energy and Commerce Chairman John Dingell (D-Mich.) in his effort to beat back a bid for his gavel from Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), a Frank spokeswoman confirmed.

Frank commands deep respect from his colleagues for his mastery of economic policy, on display in recent months as he served as the chief negotiator for House Democrats in responding to the market meltdown. He is also among the most prominent liberals in the chamber, a profile that would have suggested he might back Waxman.

But Dingell has sewed up support from many of his fellow chairmen — Frank’s endorsement brings the total to six — including Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (Mich.) and Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (N.Y.), both liberal stalwarts. Waxman, who has kept his roster of supporters closer to the vest, has the backing of two fellow California chairmen: Foreign Affairs Chairman Howard Berman and Education and Labor Chairman George Miller.

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