Magazine article American Banker

Reform Bill Being Reshaped for Second Try in House

Magazine article American Banker

Reform Bill Being Reshaped for Second Try in House

Article excerpt

The House has scheduled a second showdown on financial reform legislation for May 13.

At a Rules Committee meeting on the bill Thursday, Chairman Gerald Solomon beseeched lawmakers to compromise and urged the Clinton administration to tone down its opposition. He even suggested that opponents were likely to win changes to the bill when it reaches the Senate.

"We ought to move this legislation, let the House work its will, get it over to the Senate," the New York Republican said.

To entice more support from the banking industry, a host of pro-bank amendments are being considered, including plans to broaden bank operating subsidiary powers, relax strictures on bank sales of insurance, rebate deposit insurance premiums, and relax community reinvestment requirements on small banks.

"It is in no way enough," said Kenneth A. Guenther, executive vice president of the Independent Bankers Association of America. "We will continue to lobby aggressively against final passage."

Chief lobbyist Edward L. Yingling said the American Bankers Association still opposes the bill, too.

The House first tried to approve a financial reform bill on March 31. But when Republican leaders discovered they did not have the votes for passage, the bill was pulled from the floor. A second vote was originally scheduled for May 7, but was scrubbed early this week because a key Democratic supporter, Rep. John D. Dingell of Michigan, had to leave town.

Before House Republican leaders can try again Wednesday, the Rules Committee must select which amendments lawmakers may consider. That vote is set for Tuesday.

Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin, in a letter Thursday to Speaker Newt Gingrich, vowed to recommend a presidential veto if Congress approves the legislation in its current form.

The administration strongly objects to proposed curbs on operating subsidiaries and other limits on national bank powers as a threat to its influence on the banking system. …

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