CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
H.R. 4506 is expected to be considered on the floor of the House on Wednesday, March 10, 2010, under a motion to suspend the rules, requiring a two-thirds vote for passage. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) on January 26, 2010.
H.R. 4506 would amend the federal judicial code to authorize the appointment of 35 permanent bankruptcy judges in various States. The bill converts certain temporary offices of bankruptcy judges to permanent offices in specified States. H.R. 4506 extends certain temporary offices of bankruptcy judges previously authorized for Pennsylvania and North Carolina, as well as increases bankruptcy filing fees collected by individuals and businesses. H.R. 4506 would also reduce the amount of bankruptcy fees to be deposited as offsetting collections to the United States Trustee System Fund.
According to the House Committee on the Judiciary, the need for additional bankruptcy judges is due to the growing volume and complexity of bankruptcy cases and the judicial conference recommendations calling for additional judges. On January 27, 2010, the Committee ordered the bill favorably reported, without amendment, by voice vote.
According to CBO, the bill would increase direct spending, revenues, and costs subject to appropriation. CBO estimates that the mandatory pay and benefits for judgeships not otherwise provided for under current law would increase direct spending by $12 million through 2015 and $24 million over the 2010-2020 period. CBO estimates that changes made to the collection and disposition of filing fees under the bill would increase revenues by about $13 million through 2015 and by about $27 million over the 2010-2020 period. In total, the changes to direct spending and revenue made by H.R. 4506 would reduce future budget deficits by about $1 million over the 2010-2015 period and about $3 million over the 2010-2020 period.
CBO estimates that discretionary expenditures for support staff and office space associated with the additional judgeships would cost $45 million over the 2010-2015 period, subject to appropriation of the necessary funds.