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Bankruptcy Reform

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Bankruptcy reform legislation has taken the back burner to more pressing matters, due to the tragic events in New York and Washington last week. The formal meeting of House and Senate conferees, which was scheduled yesterday afternoon, was postponed indefinitely by House Judiciary Chairman James Sensenbrenner. Sensenbrenner is also the chairman of the bankruptcy conference. Reportedly a number of the key members will be consumed with matters relating to last week’s tragedy. The House last month named the primary conferees to serve on the House-Senate conference committee working to wrap up the bankruptcy reform legislation. The joint panel was scheduled to meet this month to work out of the final details of the new bankruptcy laws which will limit the availability of Chapter 7 filings to consumers with good income. The House-named members include James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), John Conyers (D-MI), Bob Barr (R-GA), Melvin Watt (D-NC), Henry Hyde (R-IL), George Gekas (R-PA), Lamar Smith (R-TX), Steve Chabot (R-OH), Rick Boucher (D-VA) and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). All of the conferees serve on the House Judiciary Committee. The House also named nine members from other committees to consult as conferees on limited sections of the bill. Last month, the U.S. Senate named Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Joseph Biden (D-DE), Edward Kennedy (D-MA), Herb Kohl (D-WI), Russell Feingold (D-WI), Charles Schumer, (D-NY), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Charles Grassley (R-IA), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Mike DeWine (R-OH), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to serve on the House-Senate conference committee. The Senate also unanimously agreed to substitute the language of a pending House bankruptcy reform bill (H.R. 333) with that of the Senate-passed version (S.420).

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