WASHINGTON – The National Association of Realtors and its members are still pushing for additional congressional hearings to be held on a controversial rule proposed by the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury that would allow banks to offer real estate brokerage services. NAR and individual realtors began lobbying Congress in mid-May to gather signatures from House members on a letter writen by Reps. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) and Bob Riley (R-Ala.) calling for more hearings. Since then, 85 more congressional representatives have added their signatures, according to NAR. The letter calling for more hearings will be given to Reps. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions, and Mike Oxley (R-Ohio), chairman of the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit. During a subcommittee meeting on May 2, several members of Congress inquired about the source of the proposal, said NAR. The Fed maintains it is independent from Congress and therefore doesn’t need congressional approval to proceed with the proposed rule. NAR maintains the Fed’s proposal would blur the line between commerce and banking. -

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