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."
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye
Did you know: @carlychaikin of "Mr. Robot" has been painting for about a decade? The actress, who plays Darlene on the show, is a self-taught artist who lists Salvador Dalí and Chuck Close as some of her idols. Chaikin told WWD that painting is a form of meditation for her — A much-needed one given the intensity of "Mr. Robot." See a piece Chaikin is working on at WWD.com (📷: @jilliansollazzo) #wwdeye