HR 109-31 INDEX



Chairman SENSENBRENNER. The gentlewoman is recognized for 5 minutes.

Ms. JACKSON LEE. I thank the Chairman, and I thank the Ranking Member.

Mr. CONYERS. Would the gentlelady yield to the Ranking Member momentarily?

Ms. JACKSON LEE. I'd be happy to yield. I'd be happy to yield to the gentleman.

Mr. CONYERS. I'd ask all of my colleagues to either put all of their amendments en bloc or strike the last word, put the amendment and the argument in so that it will be there, because we have two other very important pieces of legislation after we finish this bill. If you could consider that, I'd be grateful.

Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Chairman, I'd be delighted, if I could do this one, and I'll put the other en bloc and be finished. Would that meet—how can I accommodate——

Mr. CONYERS. That would delight me no end.

Ms. JACKSON LEE. All right. I will do this very quickly, and then I have three others and I will put them en bloc.

Mr. CONYERS. Thank you.

Ms. JACKSON LEE. I thank the gentleman very much for his kindness.

Mr. CONYERS. Thank you very much.

Ms. JACKSON LEE. My friends, this is a circumstance that will confront all of our States, whether it is a flood, a hurricane, certainly any natural disaster that we can imagine has confronted individual States. We know recently that—we know recently that Florida suffered a historic three hurricanes or more in 2004. Families that are affected by natural disasters such as a hurricane in Florida or the mudslides in California should not have to apply their scarce relief effort monies to bankruptcy debt. The intent in providing Federal and State monies to families who are victims of such natural disasters is to relieve the burden that the disaster has caused, not to increase their net worth.

Bankruptcy reform should address many specific issues, such as the negligent mismanagement of money, but hurt those who are already suffering from flooding or collapsed roof or house that has gone out to sea is absolutely ridiculous.

I'd ask my colleagues to support this, which exempts the benefits that you've received if you have suffered a natural disaster. Again, I started out my concern about this legislation in that it is class warfare. I simply ask my colleagues to find some sense of balance to be able to balance this legislation with those middle-class and working families who are simply trying to make ends meet. We have already denied veterans and those returning from Iraq. We've denied those with catastrophic injuries. I can't imagine that there's not one of us that has not been in a community that has suffered a natural disaster.

I ask my colleagues to support this amendment.

Chairman SENSENBRENNER. Does the gentlewoman yield back?

Ms. JACKSON LEE. I yield back.

Chairman SENSENBRENNER. The question is on the amendment. Those in favor will say aye? Opposed, no? The noes appear to have it. The noes have it. The amendment is not agreed to.









The gentlewoman from Texas.


Ms. JACKSON LEE. I have three amendments at the desk, 002, 004, and 006.

Chairman SENSENBRENNER. Without objection, the——

Ms. JACKSON LEE. Excuse me——

Chairman SENSENBRENNER—amendments will be considered en bloc. Hearing none, so ordered. The clerk will report the amendments.

The CLERK. Amendments to S. 256 offered by Ms. Jackson Lee of Texas. At an appropriate place, insert the following "(and make such technical and conforming changes as may be appropriate):"

"Section. Debts incurred as a result of sex offenses against minors."

"Section 523(a) of title 11, United States Code, as amended by section'——

Chairman SENSENBRENNER. Without objection, the amendments are considered as read en bloc.

[The en bloc amendments follow:]






Chairman SENSENBRENNER. And the gentlewoman is recognized for 5 minutes.

Ms. JACKSON LEE. Although we may have an opportunity to address this on the floor of the House, I think my amendments are self-explanatory. Might I make note for the audience that I have a great deal of respect for the Chairman of the Subcommittee, but I think it is beneath the process of this body when you offer an amendment and there is not even the courtesy and the respect to have a response by the opposition.

But this is the low level of which we have reached in this body, and I always believed that when you reach to go over the edge, when you abuse your power, I can assure you that it's going to come back to you. We're here debating the lives of people, the lives of people who are simply going to be crushed by this oppressive, destructive, and special interest legislation. And if there are any credit card companies in the audience, it's not personal. But for you to spend this amount of money to generate this kind of ugly, one-sided legislative initiative is an absolute disgrace.

Let me cite the testimony from Elizabeth Warren, who spoke before the Committee on the Judiciary on February 10, 2005, an outstanding scholar at Harvard University Law School: "The overreaching problem with this bill is that time and the American economy has passed it by. We don't need this legislation. It is a complete misnomer. It is nothing but a payoff to credit card companies who have spent $4 million and more for this legislation."

In the 8 years since this bill was introduced, new cases have burst on the scene. The names are burned into our collective memories: Enron, WorldCom, Adelphia, United Airlines, US Airways, TWA, LTV Steel, Kmart, Polaroid, Global Crossing. While the number of consumer bankruptcy cases have declined slightly in the past year, many of the largest corporate bankruptcy cases in American history have occurred since the Senate has last re-evaluated the bankruptcy laws, and some of those cases are already legend for the corporate scandals that accompany them.

My friends on the other side of the aisle, my amendments are simple. Do not eliminate the debt of someone or allow someone to stand behind bankruptcy when they have a liability because of a sexual assault. Do not allow those who receive dollars because they're injured in cases relating to tobacco to have to use those dollars in getting rid of their credit debt or their other debt. And if someone is impacted by—though we wish they would not, by some nuclear accident, under the Price-Anderson Act, the PAA, let us not have those dollars subjected to the bankruptcy laws, meaning that they would have to utilize them to pay off their debt.

In this instance, I would simply say that Elizabeth Warren is right. She was right 8 years ago, and she is right now. We have seen a decrease in consumer bankruptcies. We already have an insurance plan as it relates to the credit card companies by their charging of usurious rates. You get any credit card invitation, and what you get in the mail is a complete, if you will, scandalous request for you to join their family. It is in blind need that you sign up for it, 30 percent, 29 percent.

And so we have this 512-page document that gives little relief to anyone other than those who simply want to break the backs of the middle class. Let me tell you, my friends, that this company runs—










excuse me, this country, this Nation runs on the backs of the middle class. They are the working people. They're the ones that generate the economy. And, yes, they are the consumers. I already said that the credit card companies create a house of cards. That's what they do. You can't buy or sell without a credit card. This country is going to find itself overridden by not debt but by the system that doesn't allow you to use your simple dollars to buy and sell.

This bill makes it happen for sure, and all I would say is that I'd ask for the thoughtfulness in this process. This is not about whether the Chairman likes you or doesn't like you, likes your philosophy or doesn't like your philosophy, likes your style or doesn't like your style. This is the legislative process, and I'm representing people who cannot speak for themselves.

Mr. CONYERS. Would the gentlelady——

Ms. JACKSON LEE. And I will not be silenced on that basis. I'd be happy to yield.

Mr. CONYERS. I'd like to say that you've presented three very important amendments that have not been considered in any way, and I don't want anyone to confuse the fact that you have introduced them en bloc with the fact that they are any less important than any of the other amendments that you have put forward today. And I thank the lady for cooperating with the parliamentary process, and I support the amendments without exception.

Ms. JACKSON LEE. I thank you for your leadership. I ask my colleagues to support the three amendments and speak on behalf of the American people.

Chairman SENSENBRENNER. The gentlewoman's time has expired. The question is on agreeing to the Jackson Lee amendments en bloc. Those in favor will say aye? Opposed, no? The noes——

Ms. JACKSON LEE. rollcall.

Chairman SENSENBRENNER—appear to have it—rollcall will be ordered. The question is on agreeing to the three Jackson Lee amendments en bloc. Those in favor will, as your names are called, answer aye, those opposed, no, and the clerk will call the roll.

The CLERK. Mr. Hyde?

[No response.]

The CLERK. Mr. Coble?

Mr. COBLE. No.

The CLERK. Mr. Coble, no. Mr. Smith?

Mr. SMITH. No.

The CLERK. Mr. Smith, no. Mr. Gallegly?


The CLERK. Mr. Gallegly, no. Mr. Goodlatte?


The CLERK. Mr. Goodlatte, no. Mr. Chabot?


The CLERK. Mr. Chabot, no. Mr. Lungren?


The CLERK. Mr. Lungren, no. Mr. Jenkins?


The CLERK. Mr. Jenkins, no. Mr. Cannon?


The CLERK. Mr. Cannon, no. Mr. Bachus?


The CLERK. Mr. Bachus, no. Mr. Inglis?











The CLERK. Mr. Inglis, no. Mr. Hostettler?

[No response.]

The CLERK. Mr. Green?

[No response.]

The CLERK. Mr. Keller?


The CLERK. Mr. Keller, no. Mr. Issa?

Mr. ISSA. No.

The CLERK. Mr. Issa, no. Mr. Flake?

[No response.]

The CLERK. Mr. Pence?

Mr. PENCE. No.

The CLERK. Mr. Pence, no. Mr. Forbes?


The CLERK. Mr. Forbes, no. Mr. King?

Mr. KING. No.

The CLERK. Mr. King, no. Mr. Feeney?


The CLERK. Mr. Feeney, no. Mr. Franks?


The CLERK. Mr. Franks, no. Mr. Gohmert?


The CLERK. Mr. Gohmert, no. Mr. Conyers?


The CLERK. Mr. Conyers, aye. Mr. Berman?

Mr. BERMAN. Aye.

The CLERK. Mr. Berman, aye. Mr. Boucher?


The CLERK. Mr. Boucher, no. Mr. Nadler?

[No response.]

The CLERK. Mr. Scott?

Mr. SCOTT. Aye.

The CLERK. Mr. Scott, aye. Mr. Watt?

Mr. WATT. Aye.

The CLERK. Mr. Watt, aye. Ms. Lofgren?

[No response.]

The CLERK. Ms. Jackson Lee?


The CLERK. Ms. Jackson Lee, aye. Ms. Waters?

Ms. WATERS. Aye.

The CLERK. Ms. Waters, aye. Mr. Meehan?

Mr. MEEHAN. Aye.

The CLERK. Mr. Meehan, aye. Mr. Delahunt?

[No response.]

The CLERK. Mr. Wexler?

[No response.]

The CLERK. Mr. Weiner?

Mr. WEINER. Aye.

The CLERK. Mr. Weiner, aye. Mr. Schiff?

[No response.]

The CLERK. Ms. Sanchez?

[No response.]

The CLERK. Mr. Smith?

[No response.]










The CLERK. Mr. Van Hollen?


The CLERK. Mr. Van Hollen, aye. Mr. Chairman?


The CLERK. Mr. Chairman, no.

Chairman SENSENBRENNER. Further Members in the chamber who wish to cast or change their vote? The gentleman from Ohio, Mr. Chabot.


The CLERK. Mr. Chabot, no.

Chairman SENSENBRENNER. The gentleman from California, Mr. Issa.

Mr. ISSA. No.

The CLERK. Mr. Issa, no.

Chairman SENSENBRENNER. Other Members in the chamber who wish to cast or change their vote? If not, the clerk will report.

The CLERK. Mr. Chairman, Ms. Jackson Lee—Mr. Chairman, Ms. Jackson Lee is recorded as aye.

Chairman SENSENBRENNER. The clerk will report.

The CLERK. Mr. Chairman, there are 9 ayes and 20 noes.

Chairman SENSENBRENNER. And the amendments en bloc are not agreed to.





For what purpose does the gentlewoman from California, Ms. Waters, seek recognition?

Ms. WATERS. Mr. Chairman, I have three amendments that I will offer en bloc.

Chairman SENSENBRENNER. The clerk——

Ms. WATERS. They're at the desk, and if I may identify them as stay of eviction for victims of domestic abuse, homestead exemption for seniors, and under-age credit card amendment.

Chairman SENSENBRENNER. Without objection, the——

Mr. BACHUS. Mr. Chairman, as to the last amendment, I'd like to reserve a point of order.

Chairman SENSENBRENNER. A point of order is—well, without objection, the first two amendments are considered en bloc, and the clerk will report them.

The CLERK. Amendments to S. 256 offered by Ms. Waters. Page 159, line 13, insert the following before the semicolon: "unless the debtor certifies under penalty of perjury that the debtor is a victim of domestic violence and that the physical well-being of the debtor or of a child of the debtor would be threatened if'——

Chairman SENSENBRENNER. Without objection, the two amendments considered en bloc are considered as read. Without objection, the third amendment will be considered en bloc, and a point of order is reserved against the third amendment.

[The en bloc amendments follow:]







HR 109-31 INDEX