Elections Breathe New Life IntoBankruptcy Reform

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WASHINGTON - (11/05/04) -- The voters were barely tallied onTuesday's big election wins for congressional Republicans whencredit union lobbyists were already maneuvering to push forward thelong-stalled bankruptcy reform bill. CUNA lobbyist John McKechniesaid he was already talking with congressional representatives tosee if they couldn't move the credit union-backed bill during thecoming 'lame-duck' congressional session, when many members ofCongress who have either announced their retirement or have lostreelection bids will participate in final business for the 108thCongress. The widening of Republican margins in both the House andSenate bodes well for the bankruptcy bill, which has long been heldup over a Democratic amendment to ban abortion clinic protestorsfrom using the bankruptcy laws to shield them from civil liability,according to Murray Chanow, a lobbyist for NAFCU. "This puts issueslike bankruptcy reform back on the table," said Chanow. And if thebill dies this year, to be revived by credit unions in the nextCongress, a 55-seat GOP majority in the Senate will make it easierfor Republicans to overcome the 60-vote filibuster that has enabledDemocrats to block the bankruptcy bill, said Chanow.

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