A planned floor amendment to the "safe banking" bill to give banks revenue bond underwriting authority will not be introduced when the bill is considered by the House later this week. Rep. Norman Mineta (D-Calif.) said yesterday.
Mineta said he had received written assurance from Rep. Fernand St. Germain (D-R.I.) who chairs the House banking subcommittee on financial institutions supervision which authored the "safe banking" bill that the subcommittee will hold hearings on the revenue bond question within 7 days of completion of House action on the complex bank reform legislation.
Mineta, at the urging of the Bank of America and other large banks, had earlier announced he would introduce the amendment to allow banks to underwrite revenue bonds of state and local governments for the first time.
Revenue bonds, which are repaid from the proceeds of whatever project is being financed, now account for over 60 percent of all municipal underwritings.
Banks have been trying to get approval to underwrite revenue bonds for the last 20 years, and the legislation has twice passed the Senate but failed in the House.
The securities industry, which now has exclusive authority for revenue bonds, had objected to consideration of this issue through a floor amendment without normal House hearings.
An aide to Mineta said yesterday that the chances of action on the revenue bond proposal will were "pretty slight" during this session of Congress because of the short time remaining before adjournment. But he said the hearings should lay the groundwork for prompt consideration of the legislation in the next session.