Tuesday’s Headlines: Bankers Meet With Obama; Health Bill Inches Forward
President Barack Obama will meet Tuesday with representatives of a dozen small and community banks at the White House in a follow-up to a similar meeting he held last week with some of the nation’s top bankers.
The Wall Street Journal reports that as the bankers meet with the president, a battle is brewing between the American Bankers Association and the Independent Community Bankers Association over who truly speaks for community banks – an important role given the push on Capitol Hill for tighter financial regulation.
The meeting also comes as the Commerce Department revised its third quarter GDP numbers downward to show that the economy grew at a slower-than-expected rate of 2.2 percent. Still, the growth rate was the fastest pace since the third quarter of 2007.
* [The Senate took another step](http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/22/AR2009122200864.html) toward passing its health care reform bill before Christmas by passing through another procedural motion by a 60-39 vote. [A final 60-vote hurdle awaits Wednesday](http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091222/ap_on_bi_ge/us_health_care_overhaul;_ylt=AoNerJA17fB1HEAMOr5v24.s0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTJvMmxqNm82BGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMDkxMjIyL3VzX2hlYWx0aF9jYXJlX292ZXJoYXVsBGNwb3MDMQRwb3MDMgRzZWMDeW5fdG9wX3N0b3J5BHNsawNzdW5yaXNldm90ZW4-), and final passage of the legislation is set for late Thursday, Christmas Eve, if Republicans take all the available time. However, [Politico reports](http://www.politico.com/livepulse/1209/No_night_before_Christmas_vote.html) that Republicans may not use all of their available methods to push the vote until late Christmas Eve.