WASHINGTON — Though the role of the Federal Reserve Board is among the most contentious provisions of the Obama administration's prescription for regulatory reform, the central bank was the only regulator absent from Wednesday's hearing in the House.

As the heads of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Office of Thrift Supervision and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency took their seats in front of the House Financial Services Committee, the Fed's policymaking panel was preparing to announce its latest decision on interest rates.

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