United States Senator
May 18, 2005
Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy,
Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee
Executive Business Meeting on S. 852,
The FAIR Act of 2005
May 19, 2005
I am pleased to join the Chairman at the third consecutive week of Committee consideration of our bipartisan legislation to address the serious problem of asbestos-related disease, the FAIR Act of 2005, S. 852. At our last two markups on this measure we considered amendments from both sides of the aisle and made some improvements to the legislation. I expect that we will continue to make such progress in a bipartisan manner again today.
Despite the focus on the Senate floor and in the newspapers about how partisan and divisive the Senate has become, I believe our work here today stands as an example of how we can work together on issues of importance to the Americans we represent.
In the last few weeks we have hammered out agreements relating to important issues flagged by Senator Hatch, Senator Kennedy, Senator Kyl, Senator Kohl, Senator Graham, Senator Feinstein, Senator Brownback, Senator Durbin and Senator Coburn. We have incorporated their concerns into managers' amendments and I hope that another managers' amendment will be accepted this morning. This package will address important issues raised at the last markup including transparency and the Level VII concerns.
I thank Chairman Specter, his diligent staff and all of the Members and their staff for working so hard with me on this bipartisan legislation. I believe that the time is now for movement on this bipartisan solution.