Senate Majority Leader Howard H. Baker Jr. (R-Tenn.) has asked the Senate to limit debate to 100 hours on a bill that would give banks wider business powers at the same time it would restrict the entry of non-bank companies into the banking business.
The cloture vote would derail any attempt by Sen. Alphonse D'Amato (R-N.Y.) to filibuster the legislation, which is opposed by major New York City banks because it would permit states to enter into regional interstate banking compacts that could keep out big New York or California banks.
But D'Amato apparently has enough amendments already on file to prevent the Senate from voting on the bill itself by the scheduled Oct. 5 adjournment. Banking Committee Chairman Jake Garn (R-Utah), the primary sponsor of the bill, has urged D'Amato to try to alter provisions he objects to rather than trying to block the entire bill.
On Monday, the Senate voted to limit debate on a motion to consider the banking legislation. Yesterday, it voted to take up the banking legislation, with only D'Amato and Sen. James Abdnor (R-S.D.) voting against. Abdnor opposes a provision that would prevent South Dakota from permitting some of its state-chartered banks to enter the insurance business.
Even if the Senate passes a bill, it is considered unlikely that it will mesh with a House bill designed to plug the loophole that permits nonbank companies to establish banks. The House version does not offer banks the new underwriting powers; the Senate bill does.