WASHINGTON The House was expected to pass as early as Thursday legislation that would revamp the laws on swaps and futures contracts, but observers said the bill may not clear the Senate before Congress adjourns.
The bill would prevent the Commodity Futures Trading Commission from regulating private swaps agreements between banks and large businesses or wealthy individuals.
However, House Republican leaders and other negotiators have decided to exclude controversial provisions that would have protected a broader range of bank-executed swaps, and those with smaller corporate or retail counterparties.
J.P. Morgan & Co. and some other banking companies have sought these wider protections, which were supported by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Phil Gramm and House Banking Committee Chairman Jim Leach.
The bill also would exclude language favored by Sen. Gramm and others that would have barred the Securities and Exchange Commission from regulating swaps. Observers have predicted that Sen. Gramm will attempt to block Senate passage if the bill excludes these provisions.
The Texas Republicans spokeswoman said Tuesday that the complex negotiations necessary to get the bill through the Senate will not be completed before lawmakers plan to adjourn next week. Everything weve heard about what the House is planning to send over indicates they are going to leave the job unfinished, and we are really running out of time over here, she said.