Fights over the thrift charter's future will dominate the House Banking Committee's debate when it meets today to vote on financial reform legislation.

Committee Chairman Jim Leach's plan to eliminate the thrift charter has bitterly divided banking and thrift trade groups, which are mounting aggressive last-minute lobbying efforts. Opposing the Iowa Republican are Reps. John LaFalce, D-N.Y., and Jack Metcalf, R-Wash., who have promised to fight any effort to roll back thrift powers.

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