WASHINGTON - Tax cuts and other legislation sought by the banking industry may remain in limbo until after Tuesday's election because contentious yearend negotiations with the White House have Republican leaders leaning toward a rare lame-duck session.
Meanwhile, Senate leaders took procedural steps late Monday to try to set up a vote on bankruptcy reform as early as today. Senate opponents of the bill, which President Clinton has repeatedly said he would veto, were considered likely to delay a vote, however, until later this week or to a lame-duck session, if one is called.
Legislation to revamp commodities and derivatives laws is still in Senate negotiations. Capitol Hill sources said one draft being considered is similar to legislation passed this year by the House Banking Committee that would create broad legal guarantees for swaps agreements involving banks.
The House approved a bill on Oct. 19 that some critics said would insufficiently protect bank products from regulation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Phil Gramm's spokeswoman said Tuesday that the senator is still pressing to shield swaps from Securities and Exchange Commission regulation as well.
Also on the table is a package of banking-related provisions the House adopted last week, which would create low-cost mortgages for municipal employees, relieve banks of 20 minor regulations, and renew some key regulatory agency studies.