WASHINGTON - A House Republican steering committee on Thursday approved Rep. Michael G. Oxley as chairman of the Financial Services Committee, a newly created panel that combines the Banking Committee’s jurisdiction with the securities and insurance authority of the Commerce Committee.

Though Rep. Oxley’s appointment still had to be approved by the entire Republican caucus in a meeting scheduled for late Thursday, President-elect George W. Bush and House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert called to congratulate him, an Oxley spokeswoman said. A full House vote to approve chairmanship selections is slated for Saturday.

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