WASHINGTON — The House Financial Services Committee approved several bills on Thursday, including regulatory relief legislation for community banks and credit unions.

Lawmakers passed a bill that would provide relief from certain capital requirements for banks below $1 billion of assets. The panel also approved a bill that would amend credit union deposit insurance coverage for certain escrow accounts, including interest on lawyer trust accounts.

"These regulatory relief and JOBS Act 2.0 bills we will consider today are good faith, bipartisan efforts to create a healthier economy," said Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, at the markup. "They represent precisely the kind of bipartisan action Congress should be taking to help our economy create more jobs."

Observers agreed that the tone of the meeting was particularly collegial, even harmonious, for a committee that is often starkly divided along party lines.

"It was refreshing to see such a cordial markup, and folks with very different views on many things come together for community bank regulatory relief," said Paul Merski, executive vice president for congressional relations and chief economist at the Independent Community Bankers of America. "It demonstrates that there is interest and support from Democrats and Republicans to help community banks."

Brad Thaler, vice president for legislative affairs at the National Association of Federal Credit Unions, lauded the committee for supporting the credit union bill.

"We applaud the committee for taking the steps today to advance regulatory relief for community institutions and hope that this will be the start of an ongoing effort," he said in a press release.

The committee also discussed and passed three additional bills related to business development companies and other small business issues.

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