House Disagrees with Senate

The article below was published in today’s (6-23) Congress Daily.  We will stay on top of this as usual, we have to realize that this issue will NEVER go away.  The Members of Congress that signed the letter mentioned in the story support the harsh medical criteria bill sponsored by Rep. Chris Cannon (R-UT).

House Conservatives Want To Write Asbestos Alternative

Conservative House Republicans are urging leaders to take up a narrow asbestos bill rather than take a back seat to the Senate, where a massive asbestos overhaul is languishing. In a letter to House Speaker Hastert, members of the Republican Study Committee called the recently revamped Senate bill setting up a $140 billion asbestos trust fund “even worse” than the original legislation and asked that leaders instead focus on a House bill that would simply set medical criteria for those filing asbestos lawsuits. They asked that the House “have the opportunity to work its will on the issue rather than being asked to accept a flawed Senate product.”

A spokesman for House Judiciary Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee Chairman Chris Cannon, R-Utah, the sponsor of the House medical-criteria bill, said the letter was a response to the new version of the Senate asbestos bill, the subject of a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing earlier this month. “This bloated $140 billion trust fund, with new taxes and increased bureaucracy, simply is not needed today,” the letter states. A spokesman for Rep. John Shadegg, R-Ariz., who also signed the letter, said the House bill would pass the chamber if it came to a vote. “We’re confident that in the House we would have the support for medical criteria,” he said. House Judiciary Chairman Sensenbrenner, though, has been “keeping his powder dry” on the subject, the Shadegg spokesman said.