Bankruptcy for big banks is back on the congressional GOP agenda.

A House Judiciary subcommittee is set to examine newly-reintroduced legislation this week that would create a new section of the bankruptcy code to safely shut down failed big banks.

The legislation will be introduced by Rep. Dave Trott, R-Mich., and is substantially the same as legislation passed by the House in the 113th Congress, but was not taken up by the Senate.

The bankruptcy policy would be meant to provide an alternative to the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law for shuttering failing banks without creating a financial crisis or requiring taxpayer bailouts.

While Dodd-Frank was meant to end bailouts and the phenomenon of "too big to fail," many Republican lawmakers have criticized it, and suggested it instead perpetuates bailouts. Under Dodd-Frank, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has new authority to take over and resolve failing big banks using a process that it is still being developed.

Trott's bankruptcy bill would create a section of the code that would address the specific problems resolving creditors' claims that apply to big banks and not other businesses. For instance, new rules are needed to address the complexity of sorting out banks' derivatives contracts during a failure. The idea would be that bankruptcy, rather than a government-led resolution process, would be a more credible alternative under the legislation.

The key question is whether the new GOP majority in the Senate would join the House on working on a similar measure.

Republican senators John Cornyn of Texas and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania authored a similar bill last Congress. They have yet to introduce legislation this year.

Witnesses at the hearing on Thursday include lawyers for the law firms Davis Polk & Wardwell, Kirkland & Ellis, and Jenner & Block.