News In Brief

Congress faces decision on bankruptcy courts

Congress must reach a decision today on the operation of the nation's bankruptcy courts. Congress has passed several extensions to avoid a shutdown of the current system, which the Supreme Court ruled in 1982 was unconstitutional.

The options are to extend the current system once again, to devise a new permanent system, or to let the courts shut down.

The roadblock to a permanent solution has been in the Senate, which has been sharply divided over whether or not financially ailing companies may cancel union contracts by declaring bankruptcy.

A bill passed by the House would make such cancellations extremely difficult.

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