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WASHINGTON-At NAFCU’s Congressional Caucus last week, Congressman George Gekas (R-Pa.), author of the bankruptcy abuse reform bill in the House, urged credit unions to continue their “full court press” lobbying efforts on behalf of the seemingly star-crossed legislation. Gekas is facing a tight race in his congressional district and the legislative victory could certainly give him a boost. “If we allow the bankruptcy law today to remain in force, the very sensitive element of reaffirmation would remain in a quagmire and in a state that no one could untangle with any rationale. We can’t allow that to go on,” the congressman said. “Our bill, thanks to you, sensitizes reaffirmation and makes it a substantial part of bankruptcy reform.” Gekas also pointed out that credit unions have advanced the center position on the bill, representing neither large money-hungry lenders nor the liberal consumer advocacy groups. He added that credit unions’ testimony during hearings on the bill was the most straightforward and least profit motivated of the numerous interested parties called to testify before the lawmakers. Though time is closing in on the bill as the end of the legislative session ends, Gekas stated, “So what are the prospects? I am not prepared to declare the effort dead. I will not declare it dead.” The clinic violence amendment has been the one remaining sticking point in the bill, though consensus is that there are still enough votes to pass it. Gekas referred to the so-called Schumer amendment as a gnat and urged credit unions to “swat that gnat” Following his address, he discussed the bill’s prospects in potential lame duck session after elections. He told reporters, “I’m not prepared to estimate what legislative maneuvering we can do in a lame duck session.” [email protected]

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