Tuesday :: Mar 8, 2005

Questions for Democrats Supporting the Bankruptcy Bill

by Mary

Much has been written in the aftermath of the 2004 election about how the Democrats have to figure out what the Democratic Party stands for if they are ever to regain the public's trust and regain political power. There was lots and lots of advice about how Democrats need to get back to their core, or need to be more welcoming to religion or to soften their stance against abortion, or guns, or ..., you name it. Democrats: not good on security, too secular, the party of traitors and too damn liberal. This is the message blasted out by the media (via the radio, the press and television) and it is the message that is being absorbed daily by the American public. According to this script, after 2004 Democrats were shown to be the party without any central reason to be.

One thing I always thought the Democrats believed in was that ordinary people who worked hard and played by the rules shouldn't be penalized when hard times hit and that they could call upon the government to protect them from the predation of the very rich and the very powerful.

But evidently there are Democrats that don't believe that is what it means to be a Democrat. Today, twenty Democrats signed a letter addressed to Dennis Hastert saying that they were anxious to pass the Bankruptcy bill now. They said they are backing "common sense bankruptcy reform" while "preserving the safety net for those who truly need it."

Would it be too much to ask these Democrats to explain:

  • Why over 50% of those who declare bankruptcy due to the failure of the current healthcare system when experiencing a major medical situation are not part of those who deserve a safety net?
  • Why they believe that interest rates over 30% are legitimate and fair charges for those already struggling?
  • Why those who are victims of identity fraud should not be protected from the credit card companies?
  • Why our service personnel should not be cut some slack when they are serving?
  • Why the very rich are exempt from these stringent rules? Are the rich the ones who truly need the safety net?

I've looked at the webpages for many of these representatives, and I'm still left without answers to these questions. Would it be too much to ask why they think supporting this bill displays Democratic values? Because, frankly, I'm confused.

Letter to Dennis Hastert below the fold (via DrFrankLives).

The Honorable J. Dennis Hastert Speaker U.S. House of Representatives H-232, The Capitol Washington, DC 20515

Dear Mr. Speaker:

We write to encourage you to bring bankruptcy reform legislation to the House floor as soon as the Senate completes its consideration of the bill. The New Democrat Coalition has backed common sense bankruptcy reform in the past and helped in passing the bankruptcy reform bill by overwhelming margins in the House of Representatives during the 108th Congress.

Over the last several years, we have worked to advance reasonable and balanced legislation that would require individuals who have the ability to repay their debts to do so, while preserving the important safety net of bankruptcy under Chapter 7 for those who truly need it. We believe that responsible bankruptcy reform embodies the New Democrat principle of personal responsibility, while at the same time adding important new consumer protections such as requiring enhanced credit card disclosure information and encouraging participation in consumer credit counseling.

It is our hope that the House of Representatives will consider this important piece of legislation in an expedited manner. We stand ready to work with you and our colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass bankruptcy reform into law.


Rep. Ellen O. Tauscher
Rep. Adam Smith
Rep. Ron Kind
Rep. Artur Davis
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy
Rep. John Larson
Rep. Stephanie Herseth
Rep. Dennis Moore
Rep. Mike McIntyre
Rep. Joe Crowley
Rep. Jay Israel
Rep. David Wu
Rep. Diane Hooley
Rep. Melissa Bean
Rep. Jim Davis
Rep. Harold E. Ford, Jr.
Rep. Ed Case
Rep. Jay Inslee
Rep. Shelley Berkeley
Rep. Gregory W. Meeks

Mary :: 11:01 PM :: Comments (10) :: Digg It!