WASHINGTON - The Community Reinvestment Act will be the topic of hearings before the House Banking subcommittee on financial institutions on March 8 and 9.

Rep. Marge Roukema, who heads the panel, said she is not aiming to repeal the CRA, but wants to ask some "tough questions" of the heads of the four banking agencies, who were invited to testify.

"The most pressing issues are the tremendous numbers of controversies that have arisen as to whether regulators have gone beyond the intentions of Congress," the New Jersey Republican said. "And it's not only the undue paperwork burden on banks, but it's the uneasy feeling that what is being done here is credit allocation."

The Federal Reserve Board is currently scheduled to vote on the final CRA rule on Feb. 22, but legislative sources said that they expect the date to be pushed back until after the hearings.

Last month, Rep. Roukema urged regulators to postpone final revisions until Congress could "review the impact of the revisions."

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