Obama proposes bankruptcy relief

On Day Two of the presidential campaign trail's latest Economy Week, Barack Obama proposes changes in a controversial 2005 bankruptcy law.

Published July 8, 2008 2:01PM (EDT)

Reuters reports that Barack Obama will propose modifications of a controversial 2005 bankruptcy "reform" law in remarks today at a town hall meeting in an Atlanta suburb.

This is Day Two of the presidential campaign's latest Economy Week, and Obama's Atlanta speech will propose an overhaul of bankruptcy laws "to ease their impact on people unable to pay their bills because of medical expenses or military service."

It appears that Obama's proposal will track some key amendments to the 2005 law that were voted down in the Senate, with Obama supporting them and McCain in opposition. Obama voted against final passage of the new law, and McCain supported it.

Raising this subject gives Obama a way of nicely contrasting his views with McCain's in terms of their relative commitment to struggling families (including military families) when their interests collide with those of creditors. This also happens to be a hot-button issue in the progressive netroots, where substantial congressional Democratic support for the 2005 law was widely deplored as a money-driven abandonment of principle.

I doubt Obama deliberately timed this speech to coincide with the beginning of Senate consideration of the FISA reauthorization, where his position supporting ultimate passage, even with telecomm immunity, has hung fire in the progressive blogosphere. But depending on the details of his bankruptcy proposal, it might give some pause to all the "move to the right" talk about the current phase of his campaign.

By Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is the managing editor of The Democratic Strategist, a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute, and an online columnist for The New Republic.

MORE FROM Ed Kilgore

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