WASHINGTON -- The House Democratic leadership has delayed action on funding for failed savings and loans, a sign that the votes needed to pass the $43.3 billion measure had not been found.

Though some congressional sources said the measure could come up at any time, others said prospects appear dismal. "I don't think we'll get to it before the August recess," said one key Republican lawmaker, Rep. Richard Baker of Louisiana.

Rep. Jim Leach of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the House Banking Committee, said a House-passed appropriation providing money for the infant Savings Association Insurance Fund could end up being the only funding available for failed thrifts this year. If so, he said, House and Senate negotiators could rewrite the measure to permit the Resolution Trust Corp. to also use the funds.

The House Rules Committee, an arm of the House leadership, took up the bill Tuesday but broke off without issuing a rule for bringing the bill to the floor.

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