WASHINGTON — Retail officials have written off bankruptcy reform legislation passing Congress this year, after conservative House Republicans — usually friends to business — last week derailed the long sought-after bill in order to...
WASHINGTON — Retail officials have written off bankruptcy reform legislation passing Congress this year, after conservative House Republicans — usually friends to business — last week derailed the long sought-after bill in order to remain faithful to antiabortion causes.
Lobbyists for the National Retail Federation Friday were still stunned by the dizzying chain of events that saw their long-pursued legislation shelved, despite eventual House passage.
"It was a good bill for the economy and the retail industry and it really was something that had to be addressed," said Steve Pfister, NRF’s senior vice president for government relations. "Unless there is a miracle, this thing is done for the 107th Congress."
A spokeswoman for Sears said, "We’re disappointed. The legislation proposed was balanced and fair both to consumers and to companies who lend those consumers money."
Passage of the bill, designed to make it more difficult to erase debts entirely in bankruptcy court, has been a top retail priority during three attempts over six years to make it law. Retail executives estimate the industry loses more than $1 billion a year in unpaid debt discharged in bankruptcy.
Last week, retailers were enthused to hear they might have a shot at getting a House-Senate compromise bankruptcy reform bill through Congress in the waning days of its lame duck session. The House scheduled a Thursday afternoon vote and Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D., S.D.) said he’d make room on the Senate’s agenda for the bill this week, before adjourning for the year. Senate passage was expected.
However, the bill’s prospects quickly dimmed as a cadre of conservative House Republicans maneuvered to kill the bill on a procedural vote. Their reason: A provision intended to bar the discharge of debts incurred by perpetrators of abortion clinic violence.
Adding to the drama, early Friday, before adjourning for the year, House lawmakers then passed the bill minus the offending abortion clinic provision. But House passage didn’t improve bankruptcy reform’s chances because it effectively killed its consideration in the Senate. The changed bill would be subject to lengthy Senate debate and amendments, a weeks-long process for which there’s no time left in this year’s congressional schedule.Mallory Duncan, NRF’s general counsel, called the abortion issue a "red herring" because it essentially restated existing law that disallows discharging of any debt arising from "violent, willful and intentional" acts.
Even if there was time, the abortion-clinic violence amendment’s author, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), would be expected to protest the provision’s exclusion in any final bill. That measure would then face similar House opposition.
Daschle said Friday: "We had a compromise that was the product of virtually years of work. I am very disappointed that we aren’t going to see bankruptcy completed this year and it’s another indication of how the far right controls the House Republican caucus."
Supermodel @helenachristensen teamed up with longtime friend and designer @camillastaerk on a joint @paredeyewear collaboration. The lineup features three styles and 11 offerings, all of which embody a vintage feel. Get all the details on how they celebrated the collab on WWD.com. #wwdaccessories #wwdeye (📷: @slovekinpics)
“It’s a hard industry to keep motivated, as well, so finding different subjects and people is what makes it worth it – when you’re like, oh, I’ve met great people, I feel like I’ve done something good, and I feel proud of having done this,” said French actress Stacy Martin on being grateful for the variety of roles she’s take on. Read @ktauer’s full interview with Martin on her her latest film “Godard Mon Amour.” #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
After showing in front of the Eiffel Tower for his last two women’s ready-to-wear collection, it looks like @anthonyvaccarello may be heading to the Big Apple. Sources say the designer will stage his next @ysl show in NYC on June 6. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion