Congress could have settled the debate over the thrift insurance fund a long time ago, if lawmakers had only listened to Rep. Sonny Bono. At least that's what California's celebrity Republican said last week.
Rep. Bono said Congress missed an excellent opportunity to shore up the Savings Association Insurance Fund when lawmakers decided not to use Resolution Trust Corp. surplus to pay off bonds used to bail out the thrift industry in the late 1980s.
"We had a narrow window of opportunity to resolve this," he said in an interview. "I don't think it would have upset people - that's what the money was for."
Last year, lawmakers rejected calls to tap the RTC surplus, arguing that no more taxpayer money should be used to clean up the savings and loan industry. Instead, the banking committees drew up plans to make banks pay most of the bonds' $800 million annual interest tab, sparking industry opposition that has blocked the plan.
Despite his frustration, the freshman congressman said he will remain on House Banking if reelected. "Banking is important," he said.
Traditionally, first-term lawmakers sit on the banking panel because its members are prime recipients of campaign contributions. Once they build a campaign war chest, they generally move on.
Democrats on the House Banking panel closed their World Wide Web home page July 3 when Republicans cut off funds for committee Internet links not accessed through GOP-controlled sites.
But Democrats didn't go down without complaint. Joining several members of his party in protests on the House floor July 10, banking committee member Rep. Bruce Vento of Minnesota decried the edict as "GOP censorship."
"The House should not be censoring the speeches of members on this floor, nor should they be censoring information on the Internet," he said.
The Internet addresses for the joint Democratic and Republican home page is: http://www.house.gov/banking.
Gary P. Bosco has rejoined the Conference of State Bank Supervisors as general counsel and senior vice president for regulatory services.
Mr. Bosco, 44, was the group's director of state supervisory services from 1990 until 1993, when he left to work as an independent consultant. He assumed his new position this month and will handle regulatory relations among federal banking agencies and the nation's state banking departments.
He'll be working on the transition to interstate banking, helping to coordinate and facilitate communication among federal agencies and state banking regulators.
Mr. Bosco previously was federal regulatory counsel for the Credit Union National Association, and state legislative counsel for the American Bankers Association. He also helped Montana and Arkansas recodify their banking laws.
Mary Ellen Taylor, top lobbyist at the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, is the new president of Women in Housing and Finance. The group's president-elect is Darina C. McKelvie, vice president for government relations at Citicorp.
Judith E. Knight was named vice president. She is the ABA's director of housing and community development.