Top lobbyists and officials of Savings & Community Bankers of America, in league with key Clinton administration officials, were burning the midnight oil at press time in a pitched battle to defeat an amendment to H.R. 3474, the Community Development, Credit Enhancement and Regulatory Improvement Act, by Richard Baker, R-La., that would make patchwork reforms of the Federal Home Loan Bank System. The administration opposes piecemeal change because it intends to send Congress a comprehensive package early next year. Any such attempts at overhauling the FHLB system are criticized as going to cause even more problems later that will have to be fixed again, although Baker and his supporters vehemently disagree. Our members dont want the wiring of the system jury-rigged before the system can be overhauled in the comprehensive fashion that has been recommended in the reports that Congress called for, and the last of which was completed in April, said Randy McFarlane, SCBAs governmental affairs director. Bakers bill is the result of several FHLBank presidents having lobbied him for changes that would open the field to more commercial banks, and thus more business. One of the FHLBank presidents said by sources to have been involved is Alfred A. Dellibovi, president of the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York. He openly called for support of Bakers amendment when he testified on reform before the House Banking Committee June 15. He said while we look forward to working to develop comprehensive legislation in the future, we are in business today. And today we should enjoy the benefits of a few legislative changes that common sense and reason dictate should be made. Congress put the reform parade in motion by requiring studies of the FHLB system by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, General Accounting Office, Congressional Budget Office and FHLBank stockholders. However, Baker argues its comprehensive reform isnt new.
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