Frist promises action on asbestos legislation in January

[JURIST] US Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist [official website] on Wednesday promised [floor remarks] that long-awaited legislation to establish a $140 billion compensation fund for asbestos [JURIST news archive; EPA backgrounder] victims would top the Senate agenda when it reconvenes in January. Frist said there would be "no more delay," on the Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act of 2005 [bill summary], which was co-sponsored by Sens. Arlen Specter and Patrick Leahy. Legislators have been unable to come up with a suitable solution to resolve the hundreds of thousands of asbestos injury claims of those harmed by the carcinogenic material. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid [official website] said that the asbestos legislation was not suitable in its current form and expressed concern over whether a compensation fund created by the legislation would remain viable. A similar concern prompted members of the Senate Budget Committee [official website] to seek a further delay [Reuters report] for the legislation. The bill was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee [JURIST report] in May, but Frist did not bring it to the Senate floor due to concerns over whether it would have sufficient support. The Senate committee will hold a hearing [hearing notice] Thursday on the issue of projecting future asbestos claims. Reuters has more.



 

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