WASHINGTON, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- Reps. Nick Smith, R-Mich., and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., introduced a bill Wednesday to restore Chapter 12 of the bankruptcy code, which impacts farmers.
The bill would reauthorize the special agricultural protections, which first became law in 1986 but lapsed on Jan. 1.
A bankruptcy reform bill that would have extended the provisions was stalled in negotiations in 2003 and was never completed by Congress.
Smith and Baldwin say the bill must be approved before the November elections because Southeastern farmers are facing bankruptcy as a result of the hurricanes and related storms that have hit the states.
Chapter 12 allows farmers to keep their equipment and land after filling for bankruptcy.
The bill would extend the law through July of 2005.
A companion bill is expected in the Senate Thursday.