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ICBA Thanks Lawmakers for Supporting Community Bank Role in Social Security Reform

Washington, D.C. (March 18, 2005) - The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), the nation's largest banking trade association, today praised Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Fla.) and 16 additional lawmakers for their efforts to seek a balanced Social Security reform agenda.

Specifically, the ICBA applauded Rep. Feeney and 16 additional signatories for their letter to Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R-Calf.) urging that any Social Security reform plans include an option for allowing investments in federally insured certificates of deposits offered by community banks and savings associations. Deposits in local community banks support community investment and job creation throughout Main Street America.

"We are greatly encouraged that lawmakers are genuinely considering the full range of personal investment options in the Social Security reform debate, rather than just stock investments," said ICBA President and CEO Camden R. Fine. "Simply stated, any solid retirement savings option for individuals must make economic sense on Wall Street and Main Street."

"As the timeless saying goes, 'Don't put all your eggs in one basket.' When it comes to nest eggs, this lesson is paramount," said Paul Merski, ICBA's chief economist and director of federal tax policy. "It only stands to reason that a broad array of savings options and financial service providers should be considered in the Social Security reform debate so assets are not unevenly concentrated. The dispersion of our nation's assets and wealth helps preserve the safety, soundness and stability of our entire financial and economic system."

ICBA thanks Rep. Feeney and his colleagues for their letter of support ensuring the Social Security reform debate is well balanced. In addition to Rep. Feeney, the letter's signatories include Reps. Spencer Bachus, Katherine Harris, Pete Sessions, Patrick McHenry, Chris Cannon, Ron Paul, Jim Ryun, Todd Akin, Sue Myrick, John Sullivan, Wally Herger, John Doolittle, Joe Wilson, Phil Gingrey, John Hostettler and Jeb Hensarling.