How Your Lawmakers Voted

February 19, 2006

The issue

The Sun brings you a weekly report of key votes in Congress.

Asbestos Trust Fund

Senators voted, 98-1, to open debate on a bill (SB 852) that would set up a privately financed $140 billion trust fund paying hundreds of thousands of claims based on exposure to asbestos. Claimants would forgo lawsuits. A yes vote was to advance the bill.

Asbestos Plan

Senators killed, 70-27, a substitute to SB 852, calling for lawsuit limits, rather than a trust fund, to speed asbestos damage payments. Claims of those impaired would be fast-tracked, while claims of those only exposed would be deferred. A yes vote opposed the plan.

Tax Cuts

House Members defeated, 185-207, a bid by Democrats to remove lower dividend and capital gains rates from a tax bill now in House-Senate conference. The nonbinding motion also urged that Alternative Minimum Tax relief be part of the final bill. A yes vote backed the bid.

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