Senate Passes Bankruptcy Bill by 70-28, White House May Veto

The American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) reported that on December 7, 2000, the Senate passed H.R. 2415, the bankruptcy bill conference report, sending the bill to President Clinton for what will likely be the final step in the process during this Congress. This bill – the most significant change to the Bankruptcy Code in the last 20 years – is now closer to enactment than at any time during the last four years. This bill faces a threatened White House veto.

ABI reports the vote came after two final hours of debate, with both proponents and opponents sounding familiar themes from prior speeches. ABI commented that the bill sponsor Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) urged some dozen wavering Democrats to continue to support the bill in the face of a last-minute phone campaign by White House staff. Some 17 Democrats voted for the bill, though this was fewer than when the bill passed on February 2 by a vote of 83-14.

The President has 10 days to sign or veto the bill once it is officially received, a process that could take several days. ABI reports opponents of the bill are confident that President Clinton will in fact veto the bill as threatened, leaving no time for an attempted override vote. A similar vote would be enough votes to override the President, but it’s unlikely Democrats would hand President Clinton such an embarrassing legislative defeat and final recorded vote.

This Alert was written by Alan P. Fox, Esq., Shareholder in Capehart Scatchard’s Commercial Group. Should you have questions or like more information, please contact Mr. Fox at 856.914.2056, by fax at 856.235.2786, or by e-mail at afox@capehart.com.

© 2000 Capehart & Scatchard, P.A.

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