WASHINGTON — House Banking Committee member Ken Bentsen predicted Wednesday that Rep. Marge Roukema will be the panel’s next chairman and that the new Congress will pass medical privacy laws and debate — but not necessarily adopt — deposit insurance reform.

In a speech to the Exchequer Club, the Texas Democrat said Rep. Roukema, R-N.J., is the “safe bet, but not by much” to become committee chairman. Rep. Richard Baker, R-La., is challenging her bid, with the wild card for the seat being Rep. Michael G. Oxley, R-Ohio, who is chairman of the House Commerce subcommittee on finance.

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