WASHINGTON - The Community Reinvestment Act may be the first regulation to come under the scrutiny of a working group formed by Senate Republicans to reevaluate burdensome banking rules.

Sen. Christopher S. Bond said on Thursday that the Senate Republican Regulatory Relief Task Force, which he co-chairs, is in the process of putting together "subgroups" to weigh the costs and benefits of regulation and legislation.

One such panel will focus solely on banking regulations throughout this Congress, the Missouri Republican said.

The banking subgroup will consist of members of the Senate Banking Committee, and will start by tackling existing banking regulation that Sen. Bond referred to as the "worst first."

It will also examine all legislation passing through the Senate Banking Committee for "onerous" rules that may be levied on banks, Sen. Bond said.

Although the list of target regulations had not been completed as of last Thursday, Sen. Bond mentioned a few that were certain to be given close attention.

"The Community Reinvestment Act comes right at the top," Sen. Bond said. Truth-in-Savings will be high on the list as well, he added.

"I said to the group that trying to pick out the most burdensome regulations was a challenge akin to that of a mosquito in a nudist colony," Sen. Bond said. "I'm sure there will be a good laundry list."

The working group will finalize the first regulations to be looked at this week along with completing the subgroup rosters, each of which will contain members of the relevant authorizing committee.

Sen. Robert Bennett, R-Utah, and Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., both members of the Senate Banking Committee, have expressed interest in serving on the banking subgroup, Sen. Bond said.

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who co-chairs the task force with Sen. Bond, also announced that she expected to introduce legislation in the coming weeks that would overhaul the regulatory process.

"It will set principles of regulation for our regulators, and it will include a cost-benefit analysis when that is appropriate," said the Texas Republican.

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