WASHINGTON -- While the House Banking Committee's plan to fund the thrift bailout remains mired in controversy, the full House has quietly approved legislation to provide $2.7 billion or more for the cleanup effort.

An appropriations bill, which passed last week without a murmur of dissent, would authorize the Treasury Department to disburse "such sums as may be necessary" for the fledgling Savings Association Insurance Fund, or SAIF, under authority from the 1989 thrift bailout law. The money would be available after Oct. 1.

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