WASHINGTON - Responding to Democratic objections, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Alfonse M. D'Amato is considering dropping a measure that would exempt small banks from the Community Reinvestment Act.

At the same time, the New York Republican is also mulling whether to create a new CRA rating - "high satisfactory" - that would narrow the field of banks that could be protected from community group protests. Both CRA measures are being considered in the context of a pending regulatory relief bill.

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