During last year’s election, DeLay claimed ultimate power in advancing his own agenda, telling a reporter, “As majority leader, there isn’t a piece of legislation that makes it to the floor of the House without me saying so.” When the Senate was considering the bankruptcy bill in early March, the Majority Leader pledged fast action: “We will grab hold of it just like we did class action if it is a good and clean bankruptcy reform bill.” That's exactly what the Senate did.
Now the bankruptcy bill is back in DeLay's hands, and the House is expected to debate it and pass it in the near future. A new analysis from Public Campaign Action Fund shows why: the current members of the House of Representatives are awash in campaign money from the commercial banking and the finance/credit industries that would benefit the most from bankruptcy reform—nearly $43 million collected since 1989, nearly two-thirds of that to Republicans—according to Public Campaign Action Fund analysis of Federal Election Commission (FEC) data coded by industry by the nonpartisan research group Center for Responsive Politics.
Roundly criticized by consumer organizations, some version of the bankruptcy reform legislation now before Congress has been introduced in every session since 1997. The banking and finance/credit industries have lobbied hard for the bill, which would make it easier for them to collect on debt when people declare bankruptcy. Yet these same companies have gone to extraordinary measures to lure people to spend more on credit than they can afford, sending out solicitations urging people to take on new cards, targeting students and other people who are poor credit prospects.
This year the chances are better than ever that the bankruptcy bill will become law. The Majority Leader ranks in the top echelons of Congress when it comes to money from the big banking and credit card industries. DeLay ranks 15th among his House colleagues in contributions from these industries to House members’ campaign funds, with $337,000; however, when contributions to his leadership PAC, ARMPAC, are added to the total, his take nearly doubles, climbing to more than $620,000.
Read the press release.
Take action on the bankruptcy bill by emailing your representative in Congress.
And here's a link to Talkingpointsmemo.com on the report.