Magazine article American Banker

Leach Doubts Reform Will Reach House Vote This Year

Magazine article American Banker

Leach Doubts Reform Will Reach House Vote This Year

Article excerpt

House Banking Committee Chairman Jim Leach on Thursday gave financial reform a less-than-even chance of being approved by the House this year.

"Although I had hoped that a bill would pass the House this fall, I recognize that the chances are now less than fifty-fifty," he told reporters after a speech.

Still, the Iowa Republican said he is negotiating with Commerce Committee Chairman Thomas Bliley in hopes of reaching a compromise package before Congress adjourns.

"Before we go home I want to have a new product on the table, preferably one that has Commerce Committee support," he said.

Banking and Commerce committee aides have been meeting daily to try to settle differences between the two bills. Little progress has been made on major issues such as powers of bank operating subsidiaries, rules for bank securities and insurance operations, and holding company supervision.

However, the two committees have agreed to restructure the finances of the Federal Home Loan banks and allow system members to use advances for small-business, economic development, and agricultural loans. Those provisions were approved by the Banking Committee in June, but stripped out by the Commerce Committee two weeks ago.

Also, on Wednesday senior Democrats from the Banking and Commerce committees joined the GOP working group on financial reform. Recognizing that bipartisan support is necessary to pass the bill, GOP leaders asked Reps. John Lafalce, Bruce Vento, John Dingell, and Tom Manton to enter the talks. …

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