HOUSE PASSES BILL TO MAKE BANKRUPTCY LESS EASY.Byline: Marcy Gordon Associated Press Associated Press: see news agency.
Associated Press (AP)
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The House passed legislation to overhaul bankruptcy laws Friday and make it tougher for people to erase their debts. The White House renewed its veto threat and the Senate neared year-end adjournment A putting off or postponing of proceedings; an ending or dismissal of further business by a court, legislature, or public official—either temporarily or permanently. without voting on the measure.
Racing toward the end of Congress' session, the House voted 300-125, with Democrats split and Republicans in solid support.
Alarmed by the rising tide Noun 1. rising tide - the occurrence of incoming water (between a low tide and the following high tide); "a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune" -Shakespeare
flood tide, flood of personal bankruptcies Personal bankruptcy is a procedure which, in certain jurisdictions, allows an individual to declare bankruptcy. In other jurisdictions, bankruptcies are reserved for corporations. in a strong economy, lawmakers in both houses have been pushing for a crackdown crack·down
An act or example of forceful regulation, repression, or restraint: a crackdown on crime.
Noun 1. on perceived abuses of bankruptcy court bankruptcy court n. the specialized Federal court in which bankruptcy matters under the Federal Bankruptcy Act are conducted. There are several bankruptcy courts in each state, and each one's territory covers several counties. protection. The number of Americans filing personal bankruptcies last year jumped to almost 1.4 million, up more than 300 percent since 1980.
``Congress is sending a strong message that no one should be allowed to act irresponsibly and simply wash their hands of the consequences, leaving others to pay the price,'' said House Majority Leader Dick Armey. ``If the president vetoes this bill, he is endorsing irresponsibility.''
Big credit card companies, notably Visa and MasterCard, and retail business groups have lobbied intensely for stringent legislation. The companies have said their losses from forgiven debts have forced them to raise interest rates for consumers who handle credit responsibly.
Democratic opponents have denounced the measure as a sellout to the credit card companies and the banks that control them that would plunge financially strapped people and families into debt for the rest of their lives.
In the Senate, GOP backers of the legislation have taken a more temperate temperate /tem·per·ate/ (tem´per-at) restrained; characterized by moderation; as a temperate bacteriophage, which infects but does not lyse its host.
adj. approach than their House counterparts to making debtors shoulder responsibility. Talks between White House officials and Senate backers to seek a compromise President Clinton would sign broke down Friday morning, and the Senate headed toward year-end adjournment without voting on the bill.
Even with such a huge margin of House support for the bill, Congress' imminent adjournment means it would have little chance to override a presidential veto.