Within days of the election defeat of Senate Banking Committee Chairman Alfonse M. D'Amato, the panel's prospective new leader, Sen. Phil Gramm, began a staff overhaul.

His spokesman said Wayne A. Abernathy, banking aide to Sen. Gramm since 1987, will become chief of staff in January. John M. Heasley, general counsel of the Texas Bankers Association and a former House Banking Committee staff member, is being courted to be top committee lawyer, sources here said.

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