Reprinted from November 1999 ABI Journal
Web posted and Copyright © November 1, 1999, American Bankruptcy Institute.
Update on S. 625
Senate sponsors of S. 625 are continuing efforts to break the partisan stalemate that prevented the bill from a vote in
September. Sens. Robert G. Torricelli (D-NJ) and Joseph R. Biden (D-DE) sent a letter to both the Republican and
Democrat leaders on Oct. 20, urging the leadership to negotiate directly on the scope of amendments to the bill.
(The full text of the manager's amendment and the consumer credit disclosure amendment are available online at
Relations between Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) and Tom Daschle (D-SD) have been especially strained in the
last month, as each side has alleged bad faith in dealing with such high-profile issues as the Comprehensive Test
Ban Treaty (CTB) and campaign finance reform (CFR), among other issues. The financial services industry is also
encouraging Sen. Lott to find a way to move S. 625 out of the Senate and into a conference with the House on
In early October, S. 625 sponsor Charles E. Grassley (R-IA) offered Democrats the chance to offer up to three
non-germane amendments to the bill, including efforts to reopen the "freedom to farm" law and a proposal to raise
the minimum wage from $5.15 to $6.15. Most of the other potential non-germane amendments, such as CTBand
CFR, have already been addressed. Meanwhile, talks on a consensus plan to raise the minimum wage have broken
down in the House. At issue is the timing for the increase ($1 over two years vs. three years) and the list of tax
breaks to accompany the hike. Reaching a deal on the minimum wage is thought to be a key to moving the
bankruptcy bill as a "package."
President Clinton signed the latest temporary extension of chapter 12 on Oct. 9. (Public Law 106-70). Chapter 12
will now expire on July 1, 2000 unless made permanent (as provided in both H.R. 833 and S. 625) or extended