House lawmakers easily passed a measure aimed at overhauling the nation's bankruptcy laws, making it harder for consumers to wipe away their debts.

The bill, which passed the House last week in a 302-126 vote, is the result of years of intensive lobbying by banks, credit card companies and retailers, and marks the first major revision to the bankruptcy laws in more than a quarter century.

President Bush commended the bill's passage, saying, "These commonsense reforms will make the system stronger and better so that more Americans -- especially lower-income Americans -- have greater access to credit. I look forward to signing the bill into law."

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