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Capitol Hill Day 2016The March on the Hill
Congress may move slowly but CLLA does not! On February 29 9 members descended upon Washington DC. We met with Congressional staffers to take the temperature on a technical correction to the FDCPA. We were joined by 4 non members and together we continued to work on venue and preference reform. We all met with our individual representatives from the House and Senate on all three issues:
Thank you to Dan Kerrick for leading the Creditors’ Rights charge up the Hill. We also met with the Senate majority and minority staffers from the Banking and Finance Committee. We asked to legislatively define consumer as a "natural person" and that a consumer's attorney does not need the same protection as a consumer. The response was guardedly positive. There was a concern about the position the CFPB has on this issue. Finally there was a word of warning about opening Pandora's Box such as increasing the statutory damages. We also met with the legislative liaison to ACA. She was also discouraging in our quixotic desire to make sure there is definitional clarity.
Venue and Preference reform:
Doug Rossner put together statistics which were time consuming but worth the effort in calling attention to the inequitable distribution of large bankruptcy matters. The ground work laid by the Bankruptcy Section went a long way to convince the Judiciary Committee and with National Association of Attorney General that reforms are necessary in these two areas. We have made significant progress in the reformation movement. Thanks to Peter Califano and his team, since 2014 we have gone from being the lone voice to the leading advocate.
Finally, one of the most fun things about Hill Day is the privilege to be sworn in to Supreme Court Bar by Chief Justice John Roberts. The majesty and history of this setting is overwhelming. I was honored to be sworn in this year along with two non-CLLA members. It may be purely coincidental that right after we were sworn in Justice Clarence Thomas spoke for the first time in 10 years.
I hope that you will mark your calendars for February/March 2017 and spend two days with us on Capitol Hill!
Written by Hill Day 2016 Coordinator, Lori J. Frank