Prospects for bankruptcy reform legislation remained unclear Thursday. The legislation passed its first hurdle when the Senate on Wednesday approved 99 to 1 an initial procedural move to limit debate, a so-called cloture motion.
But unless Senate leaders can strike a deal that lets Democrats propose pro-consumer amendments yet still limit debate, opponents have a good chance of killing the legislation for the year by defeating a second cloture attempt.
That vote could come as early as today. Two amendments at the center of negotiations include one by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., to raise the minimum wage and one by Sen. Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., to require lenders to disclose how long it would take a person to pay off a credit card balance by making only the minimum payment each month.
The bill's supporters were upbeat.
"Recent discussions in the Senate are indicating more and more that the outlook for Senate passage of bankruptcy reform is quite positive," said Michael J. McGarry, a spokesman for Visa.