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(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) today voted not to move forward with flawed asbestos legislation that was before the United States Senate. The bill – which failed to move forward because it violated Senate funding requirements – did not do enough to compensate victims, help family members, support research or protect Americans from future harm.



Senator Murray, who has been the leading voice in the Senate for banning asbestos in America, expressed her disappointment with the underlying bill.





"Asbestos liability is a very real problem. It's a problem for victims, and it's a problem for companies. We need a balanced solution. Unfortunately, the bill the Senate voted on today was not a serious solution.



This bill is fundamentally flawed for several reasons. First, the trust fund is simply too small to compensate all victims – and for too many, the trust fund could come too late. Throughout this process, the fund has been cloaked in a secrecy that must be removed in order for us to move forward.



The bill also penalizes small and mid-sized companies who are being unfairly singled out for large payments to help reduce the burden on larger companies. This unfair bill excludes some of the most vulnerable victims and their families in 28 high-risk American communities – known as hotspots, including one in Spokane in my home state. And finally, while the bill does includes my ban on asbestos, it does not provide the research, treatment or public education that we need to warn consumers and communities about the dangers of this product.



This bill requires fundamental changes if it is truly going to work for the American public. I've been fighting for fair compensation and reform for years, and it doesn't make any sense to squander this moment with a bill that is inadequate on so many basic levels.



Today's vote sends the message that asbestos victims deserve better and the Senate can – and must – do better.



Regardless of what happens with this bill as we move forward, the one thing we still must do is ban asbestos in America once and for all. I intend to reintroduce my Ban Asbestos in America Act and I will fight until it becomes law.



Senators Specter and Leahy worked very hard on this legislation, and I want to thank them for their diligence and willingness to work with me and others to improve the bill.



We need a real solution to asbestos reform in this country. I don't want companies going bankrupt. I don't want victims going without the help they need and deserve. I still think we can do it, and I will continue to fight for a fair and balanced bill that will do right by victims and businesses across the country."