Wednesday, April 13, 2005


Ellen Tauscher had a wee interview with the Terry Neal of the Post. Tauscher is the chair of the New Democrat Coalition. You can watch it here or read my quick transcript:

Rep. Tauscher, responding to a question by Terry Neal about where the NDC stands on the bankruptcy bill:

Let me just make very clear. First of all, we're not passing legislation here. Republicans have a majority and a majority of their folks vote for this legislation so we're not votes that are passing Republican legislation. Let me also make very clear that most of the legislation passed by this majority Republican House really needs our help. It is not the best legislation nor is it I think legislation that will serve the test of time. But, having said that we would like a bill that did more to protect people by the way who have medical liabilities - people that have divorces that are looking for either alimony or child custody money are protected in this bill. There is a lot of work that has been done to increase the legislation so that credit companies do have affirmative responsibilities in being clear about exactly what people are gonna be charged and what the fees are and what minimum payment opportunities they have. But, in the end this is about personal responsibility and as much as it's difficult for us to get this administration, this Republican led congress, to understand fiscal responsibility here in Washington we need to reinforce it back at home. People have got to pay their bills.

Responding to Neal asking why they didn't address things like predatory lending:

We would absolutely do that if we were writing legislation. If we were in the majority we would have a much better bill. Suffice it to say I would prefer that and I am for us being the majority so we are in the legislative writing business. But, I am also very much opposed to us being just the party of 'no.'

Responding to Neal's suggestion that perhaps the Democrats could benefit by sticking together and blocking this kind of thing:

My constituents did not send me to Washington to vote no all the time. I could do that from my kitchen in Alamo, California. They sent me back here to be ready to work in a bipartisan way. Because the Republican majority does not take the effort or the opportunity to work with us to cure the bill does not mean I cannot say that if you pass it and I believe there are good things about this bill or important things about this bill I will support it.

An email sent out to NDC members:


To: NDC Members

From: Reps. Ellen Tauscher, Ron Kind, Artur Davis and Adam Smith

Re: NDC Key Vote Alert!

Date: April 13, 2005

Tomorrow, the House will consider S. 256, The Bankruptcy Abuse and Consumer Protection Act. We write to let you know that final passage of the Bill will be a key vote for the NDC and to encourage you to support this common-sense, bipartisan legislation.

Encourages Personal Responsibility

This bill reflects the New Democrat principle of greater personal responsibility by ensuring that those who have the ability to pay off some of their debt do so, and reaffirming that bankruptcy should be a last resort instead of a first option. Requiring people to file under Chapter 7, rather than Chapter 13, and set up a payment plan to repay some or all of their debt is reasonable and fair.

Protects People Living Below Median Income

Only those living above the median income and who have ability to pay debt will be required to do so. Conversely, millionaires who use bankruptcy as a method of financial planning will no longer be allowed to buy extravagantly and subsequently have all debt written off.

Helps Consumers and Small Businesses

Bankruptcy costs are passed on to other consumers, and the average family pays hundreds of dollars a year in higher prices. Small businesses that might otherwise not be paid for their goods or services will have a better chance of gaining compensation as a result of this bill.

Ensures Help for Most Needy

S. 256 includes protections ensuring alimony and child support payments are made. We believe single parents and dependent children need our help far more than millionaires who benefit from current bankruptcy laws. All consideration will be given to factors including job security, medical bills, and other circumstances.


New Democrats have long fought for common sense changes to our bankruptcy laws. Bankruptcy reform legislation has passed the House of Representatives numerous times. In the 108th Congress, it passed 315 to 113 with 90 Democrats voting for it and 70 percent of NDC members supporting it. Earlier this year, S. 256 passed the Senate with a vote of 74 to 25. It is past time that Congress pass sensible bankruptcy reform.

S. 256, The Bankruptcy Abuse and Consumer Protection Act

YES on Final Passage


These people are fucking crazy.

...hey! I just remembered it's still early on the West Coast:

2121 North California Blvd., Suite 555 (Tower B)

2000 Cadennasso Blvd., Suite A
(707) 428-7792

420 W. 3rd Street
(925) 757-7187