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Reprinted from June 2000 ABI Journal June 1, 2000

Web posted and Copyright © June 1, 2000, American Bankruptcy Institute.

Crop Insurance Bill Still Eyed as Possible Vehicle

At press time, Senate and House leaders were negotiating feverishly on the specific terms of the bankruptcy bill, as well as a suitable legislative vehicle to pass the bill and several other priorities, just before the Memorial Day recess. Bills dealing with electronic signatures, federal crop insurance and a measure to expand the number of visas awarded to skilled foreign workers were being eyed as candidates for a "mega-bill" package to send on to the president for final action. Each of the bills has strong support from different constituencies, making it more likely to pass the bankruptcy bill in this manner than as a stand-alone measure.

The Clinton administration finally weighed in on the informal Senate-House negotiations to reconcile differences between H.R. 833 and S. 625. The administration's 10-page letter of May 12 (available on ABI World) expresses some mild pre-ferences between the House and Senate consumer provisions of the bill (the letter makes no comment on the business portions of the bill), but the letter does not offer much hope that the president will veto the final compromise product. "The bankruptcy provisions of the Senate bill generally do a better job of meeting the president's principles, although the administration has serious concerns about some provisions," wrote Jacob Lew, director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Should the substantive bankruptcy issues be agreed upon, a legislative vehicle found and the bill is signed into law by the president, the new bankruptcy law would become effective 180 days after the date of enactment. Current law would still apply to cases filed before that date.


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