WASHINGTON - Amid signs that some key Republicans were swayed by President Bush's plea for thrift bailout funds, the chairman of the House Banking Committee said he hopes to move a bill early next month.
But Rep. Henry B. Gonzalez, D-Tex., said he does not plan to seek new money. Instead, he will ask the House to authorize spending of funds appropriated last year under a temporary measure that expired April 1.
Gingrich Promises Support
An amendment permitting the Resolution Trust Corp. to spend the $18 billion remaining from last year could be attached to a bill overhauling government-sponsored enterprises, he said.
Rep. Chalmers Wylie, the banking committee's senior Republican, said he has received assurances of help from Rep. Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., who played a behind-the-scenes role in blocking an RTC bill earlier this year.
Mr. Gingrich, as House Republican whip, could be expected to drum up support from other GOP members, Rep. Wylie said. The House leadership has said "85 or 90 [Republican votes] are needed to bring it up again," Rep. Wylie added.
He said another Republican opponent of RTC funding, Rep. Bill McCollum, R-Fla., might be softening. Rep. McCollum did not say he would support the bill, but said he wants to be permitted to offer an amendment that would provide more lenient treatment of supervisory goodwill held by thrifts.
If he is given a floor vote, he might not oppose funding as vigorously as before. Moreover, Rep. Wylie said, other Republicans who agree with Mr. McCollum, might support an RTC bill if the goodwill amendment is voted on.