Saturday, April 16, 2005

The House passed the bankruptcy bill

April 15, 2005 -- 08:43 PM EDT

The House passed the bankruptcy bill, and now we’re down to the last minutes before President Bush signs it into law.

I should be depressed, but I’m not.

Eight years ago the proponents said it was a speeding train that could not be stopped. It was written by a lobbyist and shopped to a friendly Congressman. The financial services industry was giving big money, and there was no one in the way to stop it. We slowed it down. In the meantime, more than 12 million families got some relief when they were overwhelmed with debts following job losses, illnesses, or family break ups. With all the money on just one side in the debate, that’s pretty amazing. Even now, the bill that came from the Senate to the House had a few small adjustments that will help keep the door open for more families in desperate trouble. Not bad.

But the part that makes me feel better is that this time around we finally got the message out. Even after the horse race was over and it was clear the bill would pass, the press continued to write about the bankruptcy bill—and the stories weren’t pretty. The politicians who thought this would be a free vote discovered they were wrong. The middle class is beginning to rumble, and those rumbles will change things. ...