What: All Issues : Family Planning : Abortion : H.R. 333. Bankruptcy Overhaul/Vote on Rules of Debate on a Bill to Increase the Difficulty of Filing for Bankruptcy. (2002 house Roll Call 478)
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H.R. 333. Bankruptcy Overhaul/Vote on Rules of Debate on a Bill to Increase the Difficulty of Filing for Bankruptcy.
house Roll Call 478     Nov 14, 2002
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

Prior to House floor consideration of legislation, a rule must be passed to set parameters on debate. Rules are drafted by the House Rules Committee, an arm of the majority party leadership. On this vote, Republicans sought passage of a rule governing debate on the bankruptcy reform conference report (a conference report, which is drafted by conference committees for the purpose of reconciling differences between House and Senate-passed bills, is the final version of legislation). Bankruptcy reforms intending to make it more difficult for individuals to file for bankruptcy and absolve their debts have been on the congressional agenda since 1999; the legislation, however, has thus far been unable to pass the House and Senate and obtain a presidential signature. In 2002, debate centered on a controversial provision which would have prevented abortion protesters from declaring bankruptcy to avoid paying court-ordered fines. In recent years, a few anti-abortion activists have torched abortion clinics and murdered doctors who perform the medical procedure; Progressives argued that those individuals should be penalized to the full extent of the law. In the view of Progressives, bankruptcy laws should not enable individuals who have been convicted of damaging abortion clinics or killing doctors from filing for bankruptcy to avoid the financial punishments for their actions. In a rare defeat for the GOP leadership, the rule governing debate on the bankruptcy reform conference report was rejected 172-243.

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