WASHINGTON - The White House on Friday rejected the latest Republican offer to move forward with bankruptcy reform legislation.
"The President would veto the bill described in your offer," National Economic Advisor Gene Sperling said in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott.
Sen. Lott had proposed a stripped down version of the bill in an effort to cut out controversial items. The White House acknowledged that Senate Republicans had made "significant movement," lauding moves to prevent wealthy debtors from thwarting creditors by buying expensive homes that cannot be seized and by adding a means-test safe harbor for low-income debtors.
However, Mr. Sperling said any bankruptcy bill must protect consumers from abusive check collection practices and must explicitly prohibit abortion clinic attackers from filing for bankruptcy to escape court penalties. "These serious issues are coupled with the President's continued concern with the imbalance in the underlying bill between the interests of creditors and debtors," Mr. Sperling wrote. "We fear that too many of the bill's provisions will place unnecessary barriers before those who genuinely need bankruptcy protection when faced with the most difficult situations life has to offer."