WASHINGTON-Though bankruptcy reform legislation (H.R. 975) has blown out with the Washington-area summer weather, credit union groups continue to put an emphasis on its eventual passage. NAFCU Director of Legislative and Political Affairs Brad Thaler said that he got a chance to speak with Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) at a recent fundraiser luncheon, who told him that bankruptcy reform was out of time for this session. Daschle stressed to the lobbyist that support still exists for the bill, but backers are unsure whether they have enough votes to break a potential filibuster. Thaler explained that Congress would probably have to take up the bill again early in the second session of the 108th Congress because politicians do not want to be dealing with such a divisive issue come the November 2004 elections. Still CUNA and NAFCU are making efforts to keep the bill in lawmakers’ minds whenever an opportunity might arise. “While we’re under no illusions that that may or may not happen, we have been working very hard behind the scenes with [Daschle] and others to come up with some type of scenario under which it could come to the floor,” CUNA Vice President of Legislative Affairs and Senior Legislative Counsel Gary Kohn commented. “Whether it’s this year or next year, we’re not engaged in speculating about when it may or may not happen, but rather we’re actively seeking ways to try to make it happen.” He said he was not at liberty to reveal some of the discussions CUNA has had but emphasized that it remains a high priority for the organization. NAFCU is also continuing to talk with key staff members and included bankruptcy reform among the list of key subjects for Congressional Caucus attendees to discuss with their lawmakers when they visited Capitol Hill in September. The Senate majority leader also told Thaler that while the Senate is set to adjourn Nov. 7, the session will likely last at least until Veterans’ Day (Nov. 11), if not Thanksgiving. [email protected]

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