PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) _ Former U.S. Rep Fernand St. Germain, who represented Rhode Island in Congress for 28 years and rose to chair the House Banking Committee, has died. He was 86.
St Germain's daughter, Lisette, says the congressman died Saturday at his home in Newport. She said he suffered from kidney failure.
St Germain co-sponsored a 1982 bill that deregulated savings and loans. It is said to have contributed to the savings and loan crisis by allowing institutions to expand their lending activities away from home mortgages into more risky commercial ventures.
St Germain used his clout to shower the district with federal projects. He was first elected in 1960 and was close with President John F. Kennedy.
St Germain lost re-election in 1988 to Republican Ron Machtley.