Washington - A Treasury Department official and congressional aides said yesterday that they hope Congress will complete work before Thanksgiving on legislation to strengthen federal regulation of the government securities market.
The congressional sources said Senate aides are expected to respond this week to the House-passed version of the bill, which includes a controversial provision requiring government dealers to file reports when they take a large position in the market. The Senate bill contains no such provision.
Alicia Munnell, Treasury's assistant secretary for economic policy, said administration officials are very optimistic" that the House and Senate can iron out their differences and send a bill to the President before the Thanksgiving recess.
House and Senate staffers have held a series of meetings on the legislation since the House passed its version on Oct. 5.
The Senate may find that some House provisions are acceptable, while others appear to cost the market beyond the benefits, one aide said.
But the aide agreed that sentiment in both the House and Senate is running in favor of acting promptly. Failure to come to terms could force the measure to be delayed until next year, possibly February, the aide said.
Munnell made her comments at the opening of a meeting of the Treasury's borrowing advisory committee. For the first time, the Treasury allowed reporters to sit in on the economic and market overview given by department officials to committee members. The panel is comprised of large dealers and other market participants who advise Treasury debt managers.
A provision in the House bill would require the Treasury to partially open the borrowing advisory panel's meetings. Regular discussion of borrowing strategy recommendations would stay private.