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Debt Slavery
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APRIL 12, 2005
8:32 AM
CONTACT: Debt Slavery 
See Contact Info below
 
Congress Members to Speak Against Bankruptcy Bill
Together with representatives of labor, women, consumers, children, seniors, veterans, activists, and academics
 

WASHINGTON -- April 12 --

WHAT: Press Conference Opposing the Bankruptcy Bill (S 256)

WHEN: 9:30 – 10 a.m. ET Wednesday, April 13, 2005

WHERE: Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2237

Participants will speak briefly and be available after 10 a.m. to answer questions. Representatives of many organizations not speaking will also be introduced, will hand out statements, and will be available to talk after the event.

SPEAKERS:

A number of Congress Members will speak. They will be joined by:

Travis Plunkett, Legislative Director of the Consumers Federation of America, moderating and speaking on behalf of consumers.

Patricia Friend, President of the Association of Flight Attendants, CWA, AFL-CIO, speaking on behalf of workers.

Robert Gordon, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress.

Joan Entmacher, Vice President of National Women’s Law Center, speaking for women and children.

David Swanson, Coordinator of DebtSlavery.org, PDA Board Member, speaking for grassroots activists.

And a speaker from the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.

ALSO PRESENT:

American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)

American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)

Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN)

Center for Responsible Lending

Consumers Union

Demos

National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys

National Consumer Law Center

National Community Reinvestment Coalition

National Organization for Women (NOW)

Progressive Democrats of America (PDA)

Public Citizen

United Auto Workers (UAW)

United States Public Interest Research Group (US PIRG)

BACKGROUND:

Many of the organizations represented at this event have worked for several years against this bill. Many of them have recently formed a coalition at www.debtslavery.org , a website that contains a wealth of information about the bankruptcy bill. Below are comments from a few of the organizations involved:

Association of Flight Attendants President Patricia Friend:

"At a time when over half of our members are working for an airline in bankruptcy, having their wages, their health care and their retirement benefits slashed and being pushed toward bankruptcy themselves, this Congress is preparing to vote to cut off their avenue of personal financial relief."

Public Citizen President Joan Claybrook:

"The bankruptcy bill is emblematic of what this Republican Congress is all about: coddle big business and the wealthy at every turn, even when the least fortunate are trampled in the process. Many, many people who land in bankruptcy court end up there because they or a family member got sick and lost their job and medical insurance. A better way to end bankruptcies is to ensure that every person in this country, rich or poor, has access to health care."

NOW Action Vice President Olga Vives:

“The federal bankruptcy bill is a gift to the U.S. credit card industry at the expense of women and their families. Unless we defeat this bill, Congress will simply become the policy arm of Visa and MasterCard – who will soon want their logos on the Capitol Dome in return for all the money they have spent. In truth, this bill should be called the Credit Card Protection Act, because it downgrades or ignores the economic anguish that overwhelms people – mainly the elderly, our service members, parents receiving child support and families facing ruinous medical emergencies."

Public Campaign Action Fund Political Director David Donnelly:

"This bill is nothing but a pay back for the $43 million the credit card, finance and banking industry has poured into the campaign coffers of this Congress. Leaders in this Congress, like Tom DeLay, have used the credit industry to obtain personal campaign cash advances. And now we're stuck with the debt. Instead of 'reforming' the bankruptcy laws for the rest of us, they should reform the politician-for-hire campaign finance system."

ACORN President Maude Hurd:

"The bankruptcy bill is nothing but another giveaway to corporate interests. The bill will devastate thousands of people who are forced to file for bankruptcy by circumstances beyond their control, like medical emergencies or predatory loans. We stand firmly against this bill. But this debate is just one battle in the fight for economic fairness. We will continue the fight as we take on the Ney bill, which would eliminate laws against predatory lending."

RALLIES PLANNED AROUND COUNTRY:

Members of DebtSlavery.org, led by Progressive Democrats of America, plan to hold rallies against the bankruptcy bill at noon local time on Wednesday in at least 14 cities around the country. For more information, see www.debtslavery.org.

CONTACT:

David Swanson, Coordinator of www.DebtSlavery.org 202-329-7847, david@davidswanson.org

Bob Fertik, President of www.Democrats.com 718-424-7772, bob@democrats.com

Kevin Spidel, PDA Political Director, www.pdamerica.org 602-373-6990, kevin@pdamerica.org

The DebtSlavery.org coalition includes:

Democrats.com, Progressive Democrats of America, AFL-CIO, The Nation, National Organization for Women, American Progress Action Fund, National Community Reinvestment Coalition, People's Email Network, Public Citizen, Democracy Week, Black Commentator, Thom Hartmann Show, Milwaukee Labor Press, Politology, Fly By News, Billionaires for Bush, Evans Media USA, Take Back America, United Progressives for Democracy, Rapid Response Network, Public Campaign Action Fund, Progressive Populist, ACORN, Drum Major Institute, Campaign for America's Future.

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