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Press Release

Support the Ensign Budget Point of Order on S. 852

FreedomWorks sent the following letter to the U.S. Senate today.

Dear Senator:

On behalf of our more than 700,000 members nationwide, FreedomWorks strongly encourages you to VOTE YES to sustain Senator Ensign's budget point of order to S. 852, the Asbestos Trust Fund. The Specter-Leahy Abestos Trust Fund is a staggering new expansion of the federal government. It would create a new spending program at the Dept. of Labor that may reach half a trillion dollars in size.

S. 852 is simply bad public policy. The creation of an asbestos trust fund is not tort reform; it is the creation of a new government program that is staggeringly complicated and unworkable, a program that is initially funded by a $140 billion new tax on businesses and insurers. An independent analysis by the economic consulting firm Bates White concludes that the proposed fund would actually face claims between $301 and $561 billion dollars, rather than the $140 billion claimed by the bill’s authors.

Once in place, it will be difficult to limit the scope and duration of the asbestos trust fund. And, as both independent analysts claim and as our experience with the Black Lung Trust Fund shows, S. 852 is woefully underfunded and will make even greater demands on U.S. taxpayers in the years to come.

It is our belief that supporters of responsible and limited government should not support the creation of a new multibillion dollar federal program.

Instead of a Trust Fund, FreedomWorks believes a medical criteria bill, like H.R. 1957, is the responsible way to address the asbestos crisis. Using medical criteria to hear cases and make awards is fair and makes common sense, and is already working in states like Ohio. Sound medical criteria legislation will allow the courts to deliver compensation to the truly injured.

FreedomWorks will count your vote on the Ensign budget point of order to S. 852, as a KEY VOTE when calculating the FreedomWorks Economic Scorecard. The FreedomWorks Economic Scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the Jefferson Award, which recognizes Senators with voting records that support economic freedom.