Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 21, 2014

Detroit Goes Bankrupt

“The city of Detroit filed for federal bankruptcy protection on Thursday afternoon, making the automobile capital and onetime music powerhouse the country’s largest-ever municipal bankruptcy case,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The Chapter 9 case…came after Kevyn Orr, the emergency manager, failed to reach agreements with enough of the bondholders, pension funds and other creditors to restructure Detroit’s debt outside of court. The final decision rested with Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, who had appointed Mr. Orr as Detroit’s overseer in March.”

USA Today: “The filing begins a 30- to 90-day period that will determine whether the city is eligible for Chapter 9 protection and define how many claimants might compete for the limited settlement resources that Detroit has to offer. The bankruptcy petition would seek protection from creditors and unions who are renegotiating $18.5 billion in debt and other liabilities.”

“The employee groups, and separately the city’s two pension funds in another lawsuit, argue that the governor — who under Michigan law must authorize any bankruptcy filing — cannot do so if the filings include plans to reduce pension benefits, because the state’s constitution explicitly protects public pensions.”

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