WASHINGTON New Senate Majority Leader Thomas Daschle, D-S.D., said Friday that he plans to move this week to break the logjam holding up passage of bankruptcy reform legislation.
In comments to reporters, Sen. Daschle said that he plans to meet next week with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., who has Senate jurisdiction over the bill, to name conferees to a House-Senate conference committee. The panel will iron out differences between the versions each chamber passed independently in March.
A conference committee has not met because, when the Senate was split evenly between Democrats and Republicans, party leaders could not agree on how to name conferees.
Issues expected to be contentious but not fatal to the bill, which the financial services industry is eager to see enacted, include the Senate bills removal of states so-called homestead exemptions, which let wealthy debtors thwart creditors by buying expensive homes that cannot be seized. President Bushs home state of Texas is among the handful of states with such an exemption, which he and social conservatives have said they want preserved.