What: All Issues : Government Checks on Corporate Power : H.R. 2622. Credit Reporting/Vote to Include Sunset Language in the Underlying Bill. (2003 house Roll Call 496)
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H.R. 2622. Credit Reporting/Vote to Include Sunset Language in the Underlying Bill.
house Roll Call 496     Sep 10, 2003
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During debate on legislation to extend the Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1996, Congressman Kanjorski (D-PA) proposed an amendment to add "sunset" language to the underlying credit reporting bill which would have required Congress to revisit the laws governing the credit reporting industry after those laws had been in effect for nine years. Progressives supported Kanjorski's proposal because, in their view, the rapid pace of technological advancements-and the increased incidences of identity theft and other credit-related scams-requires flexible policies governing the credit reporting industry. When the 1996 law was enacted, Progressives pointed out, identity theft was nearly non-existent and, as such, that law included few safeguards to protect consumers' identity. If Congress enacts new credit laws without sunset provisions, Progressives continued, then the national legislature would be poorly-equipped to respond to new contingencies in the credit reporting industry. (If legislation is enacted without a sunset provision, then it can retain legal force indefinitely. Sunset provisions effectively force the previously-enacted legislation back onto the congressional agenda for reconsideration). Conservatives responded that the sunset provision was not needed because Congress, even without sunset language, can revisit issues of credit reporting as contingencies arise. (Doing so requires the consent of the majority party leadership unless a majority of representatives sign a discharge petition to force the issue onto the House floor. Discharge petitions, however, rarely succeed.) On a vote of 112-310, the Kanjorski amendment was struck down and the proposed sunset language was not included in the underlying credit reporting legislation.

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