WASHINGTON -- Former Rep. Norman E. D'Amours, a self-described friend of credit unions and consultant for an industry trade group, has been tapped to be chairman of the National Credit Union Administration, the White House said this week.

President Clinton sent papers to Capitol Hill announcing his intent to nominate Mr. D'Amours to the NCUA board late Monday. The papers were received in the offices of the Senate Banking Committee a day later.

"I'm very interested in this President and his presidency," said Mr. D'Amours, reached at the Manchester, N.H., law firm of McLane, Graf, Raulerson & Middleton, where he is an attorney.

"I'd like to be a part of his team in the area of credit. I'm familiar with the credit union movement, history, and principles. They have played and continue to play a large role in making more credit available to more people."

Praise from Outgoing Chief

Mr. D'Amours, 56, would succeed Roger Jepsen, a former Republican senator from Iowa who has been chairman of the credit union regulatory agency since 1985. Mr. Jepsen's term expired in August.

"The nomination is a good one, and as a former senator I recognize it's solely in the hands of the Senate right now," said Mr. Jepsen.

Under Senate procedure, the banking committee will hold a hearing on the nomination, and then send its recommendation to the full Senate for a vote. The committee has not yet scheduled hearings.

Mr. D'Amours, who served in Congress from 1975 to 1985, was a member of the House Banking Committee. During his time on the committee Mr. D'Amours said he was a "supporter of the credit union movement."

"I was aware of them as a movement and was helpful wherever I could be legislatively," he said.

In 1982 he fought legislation requiring financial institutions to withhold tax payments on consumers' interest payments.

After leaving Congress he was a consultant to the Credit Union National Association during the 1985 campaign to maintain the federal tax exemption for credit unions. He ran, unsuccessfully, for a Senate seat in 1986.

Adviser to Trade Group

Since 1987 he has been on retainer as an adviser to Charles O. Zuver, director of the association's governmental affairs committee.

"I'm billed as a special counsel to Chuck [Mr. Zuver]," he said. "He asks me to go places to speak, and I advise him on issues."

In 1989 Mr. D'Amours was a manager for the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors under a multimanagement contract for about six months, said Douglas Duerr, president of the association.

Mr. D'Amours is a graduate of Boston University Law School. Before he was elected to Congress, Mr. D'Amours was a lawyer in private practice in Manchester. He also taught criminal law at St. Anselm's College, and was city prosecutor for Manchester.

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