Sen. Richard Shelby, the lead Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, called Wednesday for an investigation into improper foreclosure practices at banks.

"The federal banking regulators should immediately review the mortgage servicing and foreclosure activities of Ally Financial, JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America," Shelby said in a press release. "The regulators should determine exactly what occurred at these institutions and make those findings available to the Banking Committee without delay."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other senior Democrats called Tuesday for a government investigation into irregularities that have spurred a foreclosure freeze in 23 states. But Shelby is one of the most prominent Republicans to echo that request.

The Alabama Republican also went further, arguing the Banking Committee should conduct its own investigation.

"Furthermore, because it appears that the regulators have failed yet again to properly supervise the entities under their jurisdiction, the committee should immediately commence a separate, independent investigation into these allegations," Shelby said. "It is the committee's fundamental responsibility to conduct oversight of the banking regulatory agencies and the firms under their jurisdiction. I am highly troubled that once again our federal regulators appear to be asleep at the switch."

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