President Barack Obama’s administration came out against a key piece of asbestos legislation Tuesday just days after headlining a fundraiser at the homes of two of the top asbestos litigators in the country.
In a swing through Texas last week, two of the country’s top asbestos attorneys, Russell Budd and Peter Kraus, hosted fundraisers that brought in an expected $1 million-plus for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee over the course of three hours at their Dallas-area homes.
On Tuesday evening the White House put out a statement opposing a piece of legislation aimed at regulating asbestos bankruptcy trusts. Budd and Kraus both sit on the boards of several of these trusts.The White House and the Office of Management and Budget did not respond to a request for comment.
The trusts allow companies with significant liabilities to secure protection for future claims, but often have advisory committees made up of people from the same law firms that represent the asbestos clients.
The Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act — backed by business interests such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — would require the trusts to disclose additional information about the claims the pay to victims, in order prevent false or inflated claims.
In a statement Tuesday evening, the White House warned that the legislation would make publicly available the personal information of individuals who had filed asbestos-related injuries. Additionally,...