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ICBA Praises Passage of Class Action Bill

Washington, D.C. (Feb. 17, 2005) - Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) President and CEO Camden R. Fine issued the following statement in response to the U.S. House of Representatives' approval of The Class Action Fairness Act (S. 5):

"ICBA congratulates the House for adopting ICBA-backed class action legislation that will significantly reduce the number of frivolous lawsuits by cracking down on the practice of jurisdiction shopping in pursuit of higher jury awards. Putting an end to this costly abuse is long overdue.

"We also congratulate the House leadership for agreeing to expedited procedures to get this important legislation to the House floor and down to the White House as quickly as possible.

"The action by the House is also a hopeful sign that gridlock on other important bills, such as bankruptcy reform, may finally be broken."

Last week, the Senate passed the act with a 77-26 vote. The act passed with a 279-149 vote in the House and now goes to President Bush for his approval.