Amendment to Close Loophole for Anti-Abortion Extremists Defeated

An amendment to legislation that would have barred anti-abortion extremists from escaping legal judgments and fines by declaring bankruptcy was defeated in the Senate on Tuesday with a vote of 53-46. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), who introduced the amendment with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) described the amendment as going “right to the heart of what America is all about. It says those who use violence to achieve their political goals cannot get a benefit, in this case bankruptcy,” the Associated Press reports.

Four Republicans voted in favor of Schumer’s amendment: Arlen Specter (PA), Lincoln Chafee (RI), Susan Collins (ME), and Olympia Snowe (ME). Two Democrats—Robert Byrd (WV) and Ben Nelson (NE)—voted against it.

Another amendment was defeated on Monday that would have raised the minimum wage over two years to $7.25. Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA), who introduced the amendment, said that employees who receive minimum wage currently earn $5000 under the poverty line yearly, according to the Associated Press. The bankruptcy legislation enables wealthier citizens to shelter personal assets when filing for bankruptcy, while making it harder for lower-income, elderly, and sick Americans to get rid of their debt. If passed in the Senate, it is expected to sail through the House with no delay.

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Reuters 3/8/05; Associated Press 3/8/05; Bloomberg 3/8/05; Los Angeles Times 3/8/05; Feminist Daily News Wire 3/4/05

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