The debate about interstate branching spilled onto the "MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour" on public television last week.

In a discussion about the state of the banking industry, Jerome Powell, the Treasury Department's under secretary for finance, and Rep. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., agreed that widespread support exists for legislation permitting branching across state lines. That prompted news anchor Jim Lehrer to ask why such legislation hadn't been approved. Excerpts from the discussion follow.

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