The Senate vote on legislation that would ease credit union membership limits has been delayed until after the July 4 congressional recess, sources on Capitol Hill said this week.

A vote had been expected in June, but the Senate will be preoccupied with tobacco legislation, appropriations, and other controversial issues for the next month, observers said.

Also, some Republican senators are threatening to offer controversial amendments, and the Congressional Budget Office said last week that the Senate has to find $217 million in offsetting spending cuts or revenue increases to pay for the bill.

Lobbyists on both sides of the issue predicted a vote in mid-to-late July. The House approved a similar bill 411-8 in April.

Senate leaders have assured credit union forces the legislation will be enacted this year, said Kenneth L. Robinson, president of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions. But he added that the delay makes the industry nervous.

"We would really like to see it done in July," Mr. Robinson said. "We are working to maintain our momentum to make sure they do not forget us."

Banking lobbyists, who oppose the legislation, are backing anticipated amendments that would toughen limits on commercial lending by credit unions, reform the Federal Home Loan Bank System, and exempt small banks from the Community Reinvestment Act.

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