Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist says he believes the Senate will be able to pass a consumer bankruptcy bill during the week of Feb. 28 that is acceptable to the House and the Bush administration.Sen. Frist, R-Tenn., noted that there will be no limits on amendments during floor debate and said he expects the Democrats to offer amendments to increase the minimum wage and to block abortion clinic protesters from shielding assets under the bankruptcy laws. The abortion amendment, by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y, has prevented passage of the consumer bankruptcy bill (S. 256) for the past two years. With a larger Republican majority in the Senate this year, Sen. Frist appeared to be confident that the Senate will vote the Schumer amendment down. "Now that we have picked up five votes, I am comfortable we can deal with it," Sen. Frist told a U.S. Chamber of Commerce meeting. However, the majority leader stressed that it is important for the Senate Judiciary Committee to mark up and approve S. 256 on Feb. 17 so the debate on consumer bankruptcy can start right after the Senate returns from its week-long Presidents' Day recess. Democrats are trying to delay the mark-up and tie up the bill in committee. "We've got to have mark-up this week," Sen. Frist said.

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