(WOMENSENEWS)–All but two of the 13 women senators voted this week in favor of a bankruptcy bill that critics say hurts custodial parents, most of whom are women. The bill would make it almost impossible for consumers who file for bankruptcy to erase credit card and other debts.
Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) voted against the bill, and Barbara Boxer, (D-Calif.) did not cast a vote.
Critics say the bill will hurt custodial parents who are owed child support because the proposed law elevates credit card debt to the same level of importance as child support. That is, custodial parents will have the same payment priority as credit card companies. Given the ability of banking interests to hire expensive legal talent to pursue their claims, custodial parents seeking support payments will be at a significant disadvantage, critics say.
The bill has been strongly supported by the banking and commercial credit industries, which contributed heavily to campaigns during last fall’s elections.
The House of Representatives passed the bill March 1, and President Bush has said he will sign it after a House-Senate conference committee agrees upon the details.
After two weeks of debate on amendments that would have lightened the burden for debtors, the Senate approved the bill without significant change, 83-15. Two senators did not cast votes.
How women senators voted:
|Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.)
Jean Carnahan (D-Mo.)
Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.)
Susan Collins (R-Maine)
Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)
Mary Landrieu (D-La.)
|Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.)
Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.)
Patty Murray (D-Wash.)
Olympia Snowe (R-Maine)
Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.)
Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas)
Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)