WASHINGTON - The House GOP leaders postponed a meeting to decide the fate of the regulatory relief legislation until later this week.

House leaders were expected to discuss on Monday how to handle a controversial provision in the bill that would allow banks and insurance companies to affiliate in states that allow such relationships.

That amendment, added by Rep. Richard Baker, R-La., has brought staunch opposition from the Independent Insurance Agents of America and the Independent Bankers Association of America.

The two groups announced Tuesday that they are reviving the "Main Street Coalition," a small-business alliance that successfully blocked interstate branching legislation in 1991.

"We're dusting it off and coming out with a new, better version to focus on stopping the Baker amendment," said Jeff Myers, a spokesman for the insurance agents. He added that his group and the IBAA are looking for other small-business associations to join the coalition.

The agents and the community bankers wrote House Speaker Newt Gingrich on Monday asking him to strip the affiliations amendment from the bill.

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