WASHINGTON-Three influential House Financial Services Committee members announced the introduction of a deposit insurance relief bill identical to the one from last session, which passed the House by a vote of 408-18. Committee Chairman Michael Oxley (R-Ohio), Ranking Member Barney Frank (D-Mass.), and Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) unveiled the legislation Feb.4 that would merge the Bank Insurance Fund and the Savings Association Insurance Fund; end the automatic 23-basis point premium when the reserve ratio of deposits falls below 1.25% for more than one year; create a reserve range; and increase coverage limits for individual accounts to $130,000 and index it, while also increasing municipal account coverage to $5 million, and retirement account coverage to $260,000. Deposit insurance coverage parity between the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund is included in the bill. "This legislation will provide greater protection for consumers and the economy, all while saving the American taxpayer an estimated $700 million," Oxley said. "This legislation should be a cornerstone of the economic agenda for this Congress." Original co-sponsors of the bill include: Bachus, Oxley, Frank, Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.), James Leach (R-Iowa), Doug Bereuter (R-Neb.), Robert Ney (R-Ohio), Judy Biggert (R-Ill.), Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Paul Gillmor (R-Ohio), Harold Ford (D-Tenn.), Ruben Hinojosa (D-Texas), Patrick Tiberi (R-Ohio), Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Melissa Hart (R-Pa.), Rob Simmons (R-Conn.), Katherine Harris (R-Fla.), Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.), Edward Royce (R-Calif.), Charles Gonzalez (D-Texas), Mark Green (R-Wis.), Gary G. Miller (R-Calif.), Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio), Walter Jones (R-N.C.), and Bob Beauprez (R-Colo.).

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