House Banking Committee Chairman Henry B. Gonzalez (D-Tex.) survived a last-minute effort by committee Democrats to oust him in December. But the irascible Texan may see his power weakened as Congress takes up the complex job of writing bank-reform legislation. Panel Democrats have chosen Doug Barnard of Georgia to be their caucus chairman, and he's expected to play an enhanced role in the committee's debates. Bankers may find that cheering. Gonzalez has a populist's distaste for banks. Barnard, a onetime banker, is likely to prove far more sympathetic.

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