While House and Senate conferees had been expected to deal national banks a setback on Tuesday by agreeing to final language that would make it harder for federal regulators to preempt state consumer protection laws, they opted late in the evening to leave the issue in limbo.

In the final scheduled week of negotiations, the panel also tackled a host of other issues and was expected soon to reach an accord on provisions that would create a consumer protection regulator, establish mortgage underwriting standards, and force lenders to retain some risk of mortgages they sell into the secondary market.

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