House Republican leaders have given the Commerce Committee until June 11 to vote on financial reform.

Under the committee's tentative schedule, finance subcommittee Chairman Michael G. Oxley is to hold a vote May 27. If approved, the bill would then move to the committee for deliberations the week of June 7.

Commerce Committee Chairman Thomas J. Bliley Jr. had stalled, despite the original deadline of today, to see what the Senate would do; that body approved its reform bill last week on a 54-to-44 vote.

The Commerce Committee is expected to make significant changes in the bill that the House Banking Committee approved by a 51-to-8 tally March 11. The panel's top Republicans and Democrats have vowed to scale back powers for direct subsidiaries of banks so that securities underwriting and other nonbank activities could be put only in holding company affiliates.

Observers predict that the committee will require banks to conduct other securities activities in holding company affiliates, as well. Banking industry lobbyists are also worried that the Commerce Committee will heap more limits on bank sales of insurance. It remains unclear what action the committee will take on consumer privacy protections or unitary thrifts.

After the Commerce panel votes, the Rules Committee is to decide which version of the bill to send to the House floor. A final vote in the House could come before the July 4 recess.

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