Magazine article American Banker

Negotiators Report out Banking Bill - with a Hitch

Magazine article American Banker

Negotiators Report out Banking Bill - with a Hitch

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- House and Senate negotiators completed work Monday on a broad legislative package that authorizes interstate branching, provides incentives for increased community development lending, and eases burdensome regulations on banks.

The bill now goes back for final votes in each chamber, where it enjoys strong support.

However, the package still faces an additional hurdle. The House-Senate conference committee accepted an amendment that would have the effect of reinstating a provision of the Texas Constitution barring home-equity loans.

Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Tex., warned that he would raise a point of order against the provision on the Senate floor, arguing that it is beyond the scope of the conference. If he succeeds, the package would be returned to the House-Senate conference for additional negotiations.

Concern Over Objection

Sen. Donald W. Riegle, D-Mich., the banking committee chairman, said he is confident that the Senate parliamentarian would rule against Sen. Gramm. However, banking lobbyists expressed concern over the Gramm objection.

"It's not out of the woods yet," said Edward L. Yingling, chief lobbyist for the American Bankers Association.

The legislative package, renamed the "Riegle-Neal Community Development and Financial Modernization Act of 1994" in honor of Sen. Riegle and another prominent supporter, Rep. Stephen L. Neal, D-N.C., counts as a big win for the banking industry.

The regulatory relief section contains a number of provisions the industry has been pushing for years. …

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