Magazine article American Banker

Riegle Strategy May Give Boost to Clinton Plan

Magazine article American Banker

Riegle Strategy May Give Boost to Clinton Plan

Article excerpt

With just three months left in this year's congressional session, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Donald W. Riegle Jr. this week unveiled one of the most ambitious legislative agendas in recent memory.

The Michigan Democrat said he plans to seek votes on many of the most controversial issues that linger among the unfinished business of the banking committee. They include interstate branching and regulatory relief

Still, many seasoned observers doubt that Sen. Riegle can move all of the bills this year, and some wonder if that's even his intention.

"It's one thing to announce an agenda. and another thing to get a consensus from the committee to go to mark-up," said one bank lobbyist. "And Sen. Riegle likes to work by consensus."

Instead, Sen. Riegle may be trying to protect legislation that is a priority for him and for President Clinton -- the community development bank bill.

Sen. Riegle and Sen. Alfonse M. D'Amato, R-N.Y., have crafted a bill that addresses community development banks and some additional, issues related to credit availability.

Reasonable Chance of Passage That bill can probably pass in the Senate and has reasonable prospects in the House. But Sen. D'Amato has warned that the bill could still sink if it isn't kept clean of more controversial amendments.

By announcing votes on other bills this year, Sen. Riegle may have taken the pressure off the community development bank bill.

"If you tell people that's the only bill you're going to do, then everybody who wants something has to jump on that bill," said Stephen J. Verdier, lobbyist for the Independent Bankers Association of America.

A Different Tack

"This looks like an attempt to get away from the traditional omnibus, do-everything-on-one-bill approach that the banking committee has always taken in the past," Mr. …

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