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House Passes Major Reform Bill by Wide Margin

Feature Article

Web posted and Copyright © June 1, 1999, American Bankruptcy Institute.

he House of Representatives passed a sweeping bankruptcy reform bill (H.R. 833) by a vote of 313-108 on May 5. The bipartisan vote, with 96 Democrats joining all House Republicans, is enough to override a threatened Presidential veto.

In a key vote, the House defeated, 238-184, a Hyde/Conyers amendment to strike the use of Internal Revenue Service expense standards from the bill's means test calculation. The House majority also beat back several amendments offered by Democrats to relax the proposed new small business rules and the requirement that consumer debtors file three years of tax returns with all new cases. A Democrat substitute bill was defeated 272-149. H.R. 833 is modeled after the conference report from the 105th Congress, which passed with 300 votes in favor. The bill's sponsor is Rep. George W. Gekas (R-PA).

At presstime, the Senate is preparing to take up its version of bankruptcy reform (S. 625). The Senate bill, sponsored by Charle E. Grassley (R-IA), also enjoys bipartisan support, including Judiciary Committee members Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-DE) and Robert Torricelli (D-NJ).


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