Rules Committee Approves Bipartisan Y2K Liability Bill Conference Report

Rules Committee Approves
Bipartisan Y2K Liability Bill Conference Report

WASHINGTON - The House Rules Committee this afternoon unanimously approved the procedures for the House to consider the bipartisan conference report for H.R. 775, the "Y2K Act," announced Chairman David Dreier (R-CA), clearing the way for House action as early as tomorrow.

"From the beginning, we have worked to get an effective Y2K liability reform bill that will allow America's businesses and consumers to handle the millennium bug in a spirit of teamwork," Dreier said. "The conferees were successful in crafting a final bill that will be a critical component in making sure that our economy is not undermined by the Y2K glitch."

"I have worked with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, as well as a broad coalition of the private sector, for over a year to enact a targeted Y2K litigation reform bill," Dreier added. "This conference report is a bipartisan agreement which was endorsed by the letter of support provided by the President's Chief of Staff, John Podesta. When all is said and done, I am confident that the President will sign this bill because it is good, bipartisan Y2K liability reform."

Dreier noted that from the start, H.R. 775 enjoyed bipartisan cooperation. Along with Dreier, Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA) and Rep. Chris Cox (R-CA), half of the primary House sponsors were Democrats, including Rep. James Moran (D-VA), Bud Cramer (D-AL) and Cal Dooley (D-CA).

Dreier stated that core elements of the original bill remain in the compromise version, including provisions that:

  • require defendants to respond to Y2K questions and concerns in 30 days;
  • establish a 90 day pre-trial notice period in which Y2K related problems can be addressed;
  • encourage mediation and arbitration to help unclog the court systems;
  • link a defendant's share of damages to their share of responsibility;
  • create a uniform, nationwide Y2K liability standard; and
  • do not affect personal injury lawsuits.