WASHINGTON - About one-fourth of Americans say they want President Bush to sign the bankruptcy legislation awaiting consideration by a House-Senate Conference committee, and about half say they oppose it, according to a poll released Tuesday by the Consumer Federation of America.

In a poll of 1,046 people, conducted by Opinion Research Corp. International, only 28% said they thought President Bush should sign the legislation, while 49% said that the President should veto it. Twenty-three percent said they did not know.

"Americans don't support a harsh and one-sided bankruptcy bill," said Travis Plunkett, the Consumer Federation's legislative director. "We urge the President to listen to the public and to reject legislation that benefits creditors at the expense of those who have suffered real financial misfortune."

According to the Consumer Federation, support for the bankruptcy bill was weakest among African-Americans (22%), women (26%), residents of the Northeastern states (24%), those earning less than $15,000 a year (24%), and those earning between $25,000 and $35,000 (26%).

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