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Action Alert: 5/13 vote may hurt poor communities
For those of you tracking HR10 (the "Financial Modernization Act" in the
U.S. House) with its dangerous implications for impoverished communities, a
new vote has been set for 5/13. Rep. Dingell (D-MI) became the first
prominent member of his party to announce support for HR 10; his concerns
for general consumer protection have been assuaged (described below),
though BROAD GRASSROOTS CONCERNS FOR ACCELARATED COMMUNITY DISINVESTMENT
HAVE NOT BEEN ADDRESSED.
The following analysis comes from the Center for Community Change Policy
Alert # 123 (May 11, 199. A phone number for further information
appears at the end of this post.
It is time to take action.
HOUSE VOTE ON FINANCIAL MODERNIZATION BILL RESCHEDULED FOR MAY 13;
COMMUNITY GROUPS URGED TO MAKE VOICE HEARD ON CAPITOL HILL
BACKGROUND: Apparently still short on the necessary votes, the House
Republican leadership has rescheduled the show down vote on Financial
Industry AModernization legislation (HR 10) for this Wednesday, May 13.
The vote originally had been scheduled for this past Thursday (May 7).
Before the House can vote on the measure, the Rules Committee must
select which amendments lawmakers may consider. The Rules Committee
vote is scheduled for Tuesday (May 12).
Proponents are furiously courting additional votes in order to enable
them to bring the bill to the floor this week. The bill's prospects got
a boost earlier last week when the Ranking Democrat on the Commerce
Committee, Rep. Dingell (D-MI), became the first prominent member of
this party to announce his support for HR 10. To win Dingell's support,
proponents agreed to incorporate his amendment with eight consumer
protections primarily directed at bank sales of securities. The
amendment also includes a provision aimed at addressing concerns about
underserved consumers and communities. However, the Dingell amendment
only directs the Treasury Department and other agencies to study the
availability of financial services and to report back in 2 years with
their recommendations for legislative and regulatory action (watch out:
some representatives may use this to justify their support for HR 10).
The House leadership is also considering allowing a series of floor
amendments to win bank support for the bill. One of these is likely to
be a proposal to scale back the Community Reinvestment Act for small
Despite these efforts, considerable opposition to HR 10 remains. The
American Bankers Association still opposes the bill, as does the Clinton
Administration, and the Independent Bankers Association of America
Reps. Waters (D-CA), Gutierrez (D-IL), and Kilpatrick (D-MI) are making
an effort in the Rules Committee to win permission to offer a floor
amendment that would require that nonbank affiliates of banks
(insurance, securities, consumer finance, mortgage banking, etc) meet
community credit, investment, and consumer needs, including the needs of
low and moderate income individuals and communities.
ACTION NEEDED: Keep those calls and faxes going into your House members.
Your efforts can make a difference in defeating a dangerous deregulation
measure that promises to unleash new disinvestment forces. The message
should be simple: 1) oppose both the Rule for HR 10 and the bill since
it does not address the concerns of the consumers and communities; 2)
oppose all amendments to weaken CRA; 3) support the
Waters/Gutierrez/Kilpatrick amendment to expand community obligations to
non-bank affiliates of banks. You can reach your member of Congress by
contacting the Capitol Hill Switchboard at 202-224-3121.
Thanks for those of you who have sent us copies of your faxes and
correspondence. It helps us to respond to the claim by Hill staff that
they are not hearing from you about this bill.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Allen Fishbein or Debby Goldberg at
CCC's Neighborhood Revitalization Project, either by calling
202-342-0567 or faxing to 202-333-5462.
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