Washington, D.C.— House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the bill’s chief sponsor, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.), Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law Subcommittee Chairman Tom Marino (R-Pa.), and Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law Subcommittee Ranking Member David Cicilline (D-R.I.) issued the following statements upon House passage of the Bankruptcy Judgeship Act of 2017 (H.R. 2266) by voice vote.

Chairman Goodlatte: “A well-functioning bankruptcy system provides relief to consumers, allows business to reorganize, preserves jobs, maximizes the value of assets for creditors and debtors, and ensures the proper allocation of resources. Our bankruptcy courts are the heartbeat that keeps this system moving. If that judiciary is strained and undermanned, the system will grind to a halt, eliminating the essential benefits it provides and sending repercussions throughout the economy.

“The bipartisan Bankruptcy Judgeship Act of 2017 is a long-term fix to our bankruptcy judicial system that ensures its continued efficiency and economic benefits.”

Ranking Member Conyers: “The Bankruptcy Judgeship Act of 2017 is a much needed bill that will help ensure there are adequate judicial resources and an efficient bankruptcy process in those districts with overwhelming caseloads. My legislation will directly benefit the Eastern District of Michigan by authorizing the creation of a new permanent bankruptcy judgeship and converting a temporary bankruptcy judgeship to permanent status.”

 

Subcommittee Chairman Marino: “Bankruptcy Courts are essential to providing assistance to consumers and offering businesses the opportunity to reorganize. These courts need to be efficient and able to handle their caseload in order to effectively serve the American public. This legislation ensures that the districts with some of the highest caseloads are able to meet demands and provides a long term fix to the system.”

 

Subcommittee Ranking Member Cicilline: “I am pleased to be an original cosponsor of this legislation, which is a necessary response to alleviate the strain on bankruptcy courts in certain districts that have experienced a significant increase in bankruptcy filings. Without this legislation, all 14 temporary judgeships covered by this bill will lapse later this month, which would have potentially crippling effects on the bankruptcy system. Importantly, this legislation does not impose additional fees on ordinary consumer debtors or small businesses.”

 

Background: The Bankruptcy Judgeship Act of 2017, introduced by Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Conyers, will convert 14 temporary bankruptcy judgeships to permanent status and authorize four new bankruptcy judgeships. Additionally, the Bankruptcy Judgeship Act provides for an increase in the U.S. Trustee’s Quarterly Fees for large chapter 11 cases to cover the costs of these needed judgeships.

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