Asbestos: It Ain’t Over

By February 15, 2006General

A disappointing 58-41 vote in the Senate last night on the ridiculous and baseless budgetary point of order. It was, as we said here yesterday, just a way to slow down the train, to keep trial lawyers fat and sick people from recovering. it’s just wrong. So Sen. Majority Leader Frist switched his vote at the last minute (basically only Senators on the losing side can bring up the vote again, so it’s not uncommon to see this happen). With one more Senator, this thing can pass yet another hurdle. We hope it will. Here’s bill sponsor Sen. Specter’s (R-PA) statement from last night:

“As John Paul Jones said, ‘we have just begun to fight.’ Senator Inouye told me he would vote to overrule the point of order which would have provided the sixtieth vote and victory but he went home because his wife was sick. We will have him on the motion to reconsider and we may change another vote or two so we may win this one yet.”

It was only Monday that the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office sent a letter to Budget Chairman Gregg (R-NH) stating, “[The] CBO concludes that the legislation would be deficit-neutral over the life of the [asbestos trust]fund.” Pretty straightforward, no? Where’s the budget implications? This is nothing more than one part hysteria, one part manipulation by the trail bar fearing an end to their gravy train.

Drop a note to your Senators, tell them not to fall for this stall tactic and to support the bill and move the process forward so sick people can begin taking money out of trial lawyers’ pockets for a change.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Bill Black says:

    I’m shocked that a conservative organization like NAM would support this asbestos trust fund boondoggle. I can’t believe you would support a program that will create 700 new jobs in the Labor Department, tax a number of business right into liquidation and create a new federal entitlement. The 10 Republicans who voted for this point of order, called “legitimate” by the Republican chair of the Budget Committee, didn’t do so because of the trial lawyers. They did so, at least in part, because the CBO also said that the trust fund had a “significant likelihood” of going bust.

    We know that “Politics makes strange bedfellows.” But the fact that the trial lawyers happen to oppose this bill should not discredit the views of those in the business community who oppose it as well. It is puzzling that the NAM has not supported the true conservative position, which is a federal medical criteria standard, which imposes no new taxes, no federal bureaucracy and no new entitlement. But we hope that, now that the trust fund has been properly struck down, you might take another look at this, the better way to asbestos reform.