Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott plans to move legislation by July 20 that would ease credit union membership limits, industry leaders said Tuesday.
Meanwhile the Senate Banking Committee is expected to vote July 9 on the Shelby-Mack regulatory relief bill, which would permit interest payments on business checking accounts and required reserves, banking lobbyists said.
Whether Congress, which has less than two months left on its 1998 calendar, will have enough time to enact either measure remains uncertain.
Sen. Lott told five Mississippi industry officials Monday that he has tentatively scheduled the credit union bill for July 17 or July 20, said Charles E. Elliott, president of the Mississippi Credit Union System.
Still fearful that appropriations or other bills could bump the legislation from consideration, credit union trade groups unveiled a television advertising campaign Tuesday urging the Senate to act immediately. The House overwhelmingly approved a similar bill on April 1.
"It is more important than ever that we get Congress focused on getting this legislation passed before we run out of time," said Kenneth L. Robinson, president of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions.
If the bill stalls, credit union officials said, the Feb. 25 Supreme Court decision requiring credit union members to share a single, common bond would prohibit six of 10 American workers from joining the nonprofit financial institutions.
The ad is slated to run on CNN and other cable TV networks throughout July.
Controversial amendments to strip community reinvestment requirements from the bill, toughen business lending limits, tighten membership limits, and add pro-bank provisions also could delay it.
"We would be in favor of bringing amendments that substantively improve it, and if they are killer amendments, all the better," said Edward L. Yingling, chief lobbyist for the American Bankers Association.
Kenneth A. Guenther, executive vice president of the Independent Bankers Association of America, said the Senate may add the long-stalled Shelby- Mack bill to the credit union legislation to dull bank opposition.