A blueprint for merging the bank and thrift charters would be designed by a nonpartisan commission under a bill introduced Wednesday by Rep. Toby Roth, R-Wis.
Rep. Roth's proposal is modeled after the base-closing commission that planned the shutdown of military installations in recent years. Rep. Roth said his plan would help Congress update Depression-era banking laws without getting "bogged down" by industry lobbying.
"This is a revolutionary step toward solving thorny, ongoing problems in the savings and loan and banking industries," he said.
Issues the commission would tackle include: determining activities allowed to banks and thrifts, creating a timetable for converting to a new charter, and capitalizing the Savings Association Insurance Fund.
Rep. Roth wants Congress to vote on the recommendations by early 1998.