This Month's Articles

Administration announces end to DACA; ABA president urges action on legislation

ABA President Hilarie Bass urged Congress this month to quickly pass legislation to provide “a fair, orderly and safe way ahead” for those participating in the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which President Trump has announced will end in March 2018. DACA, established through executive action by President Obama in 2012, allows undocumented youth who were brought to the United States as children to stay temporarily in the country if they meet certain criteria.

ABA supports legislation exempting lawyers’ litigation activities under FDCPA and CFPB Oversight

The ABA is supporting legislation that would restore traditional state court regulation and oversight of creditor lawyers who file legal actions to collect debts owed to their clients. H.R. 1849, known as the “Practice of Law Technical Clarification Act of 2017,” would exempt creditor lawyers engaged in litigation activities from the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and from Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) regulatory jurisdiction under the Dodd-Frank Act.

Oral arguments scheduled for Oct. 6 in ABA PSLF lawsuit

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia is scheduled to hear arguments Oct. 6 on the lawsuit filed last year by the ABA and four individual plaintiffs maintaining that the Department of Education (ED) abruptly rescinded eligibility for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) without providing an explanation. The lawsuit was filed after the department began enforcing in 2015 an eligibility criterion for qualifying employment for PSLF purposes that does not appear in the statute or regulations. As a result, the ABA no longer met the requirements as a public service employer under the program.

ABA president urges reauthorization of JJDPA

ABA President Hilarie Bass urged Congress to quickly enact juvenile justice legislation now that both the House and Senate have approved bipartisan bills to reauthorize the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 (JJDPA). “The ABA strongly supports the JJDPA, which has provided states and localities with federal standards and support for improving juvenile justice and delinquency prevention practices and contributed to safeguards for youth, families and communities for more than 40 years,” Bass wrote to the House Education and the Workforce Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee Sept. 5.

Senate passes bankruptcy judgeship legislation

The Senate passed legislation Sept. 5 to extend 14 temporary bankruptcy judgeships for five years and create four new bankruptcy judgeships. The bill, S. 1107, differs from legislation passed by the House in May. The House bill, H.R. 2266, sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers Jr (D-Mich.) and committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), closely followed the recommendations of the Judicial Conference of the United States, which conducted a rigorous needs assessment of the bankruptcy courts.

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The ABA Washington Letter is a monthly publication produced by the Governmental Affairs Office to report and analyze congressional and executive branch action on legislative issues of interest to the ABA and the legal profession. The newsletter highlights ABA involvement in the federal legislative process and focuses on the association's legislative and governmental priorities and other issues on which the ABA has policy.

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