House Speaker Newt Gingrich was the unseen force driving the House Banking Committee's action on credit union legislation last week. The nearly seven-hour committee vote Thursday was full of drama as lawmakers clashed over amendments to clamp down on commercial lending by credit unions and to drop community reinvestment requirements from the bill.

The action behind the scenes, however, dictated the outcome. Rep. Gingrich pulled strings before and during the meeting to ensure controversial amendments were defeated or withdrawn.

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