WASHINGTON - A House Financial Services Committee panel will hold a hearing today on draft legislation that would both ensure municipal bonds are rated the same way as other securities and expose the rating agencies to significant liability for issuing faulty ratings.

The hearing will be held by the House Financial Services subcommittee on capital markets, whose chairman, Rep. Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., recently released a 43-page "discussion draft" of the legislation. The measure also would subject nationally recognized statistical rating organizations to a new "mutual liability standard" that would make them each responsible for one another's ratings.

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