Nineteen executives from some of the nation's largest banking, insurance, and securities firms pledged to push for financial reform legislation after meeting Wednesday at Merrill Lynch & Co.

House Republican Conference Chairman John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, and Rep. Michael G. Oxley, R-Ohio, of the Commerce Committee met with the corporate chiefs to jump-start sweeping legislation that stalled last fall.

Officials from NationsBank Corp., Goldman, Sachs & Co., American International Group Inc., and other financial giants "agreed on the importance of immediate congressional action on financial services reform," according to a statement released by Merrill, the event's host.

The executives agreed to work closely with Congress on the bill to make U.S. financial firms globally competitive and to benefit consumers, the statement read.

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