The Clinton administration will try to attach the thrift insurance fund fix to the next piece of legislation Congress votes on, Treasury Under Secretary John D. Hawke Jr. said Thursday.

"The (administration's) legislative people are watching for any opportunity," Mr. Hawke said in an interview after a speech at a Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago conference.

Mr. Hawke said the administration has no plan to link the recapitalization of the Savings Association Insurance Fund to regulatory relief legislation. Some banking industry lobbyists have demanded regulatory relief as the price for the insurance fund fix, which would require banks to pay millions of dollars a year in interest on bonds used to fund the first thrift bailout.

The administration tried to attach the thrift rescue to a one-day continuing resolution Congress passed last week to fund the government, but the House Rules Committee derailed the effort. Mr. Hawke said he is "still optimistic" that Congress will act soon on the thrift fund.

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