WASHINGTON — Rep. Mel Watt, a potentially key ally in bankers' efforts to minimize the scope of a proposed consumer protection agency, blew up at industry representatives during a House Financial Services Committee hearing Wednesday, arguing that they were standing in the way while he tries to improve the bill.

The North Carolina Democrat, chairman of the monetary policy subcommittee, is still clearly weighing whether to support significant changes in the legislation, including weakening a provision that would eliminate preemption powers and allowing existing regulators to retain some enforcement power for consumer protections.

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