WASHINGTON - Legislation that would establish a federal commission to study privacy issues has been cleared for a House Government Reform Committee vote within two weeks.

The bill, which the government management, information and technology subcommittee approved Wednesday, would give a bipartisan commission 18 months to investigate how a range of industries handle personal financial, medical, and government records. The commission would then recommend whether additional legislation is needed to protect consumer data.

The subcommittee approved an amendment doubling the 17-member commission's budget to $5 million.

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