Monday, March 07, 2005

It Speaks For Itself 

The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005.

Don't you love that sly little dollop of humor they ladle over the rest of the title: "Consumer Protection"? This is what has famously become known throughout the blogosphere (or at least on the pages I frequent) as the "Barriers to Bankruptcy Bill". But of course, the barriers are only aimed at consumers, hence the amusing bon mot, "Consumer Protection". You think Chuck Grassley thought that one up all by himself, or did Hatch or Sununu help? Or maybe it was that little tax cheat and energetic homophobe, freshman senator Jim DeMint, though I doubt his sense of humor is up to it. Well, regardless of who's responsible for this atrocity, much time and good effort has gone into dissecting it for general consumption across the internet, and there are a lot of good sources for info, some from these hallowed pages via RDF and Leah, and some elsewhere, like the roundup put together by eRobin of Fact-esque. But what I found to be a diverting time-waster was to sit down with a hard copy of the bill's history and an Avery highlighter and note what amendments were being put forward to it, and then how they were voted on. Come. Laugh along with me:

S.AMDT 16 to protect servicemembers and vets---NO 58-38
S.AMDT 17 to protect the elderly---NO 59-40
S.AMDT 28 to protect people whose own medical problems caused their debt---NO 58-39
S.AMDT 29 to protect homeowners with medical debt---NO 58-39
S.ADMT 31 to limit the amount of interest charged to 30%---NO 74-24 (they really hated that)
S.AMDT 32 to protect people whose debt is incurred from being caregivers to ill/disabled family members---NO 60-37
S.AMDT 37 to protect people whose debt was incurred through identity theft---NO 61-37
S.ADMT 38 to protect people from predatory lending practices---NO 58-40
S.ADMT 49 to protect employees & retirees from corporate practices that rob them of their earnings/retirement savings when the business files for bankruptcy---(Say it with me now:)NO 54-40

We'll have to wait to find out what happens to S.AMDT 44, Kennedy's attempt to increase the minimum wage, and S.AMDT 52, Dodd's attempt to prohibit extending credit to minors (Christ, first they won't let us kill them, then they want to take away our constitutional right to impoverish them) since those amendments are still under consideration.

Anyone up for taking bets?

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