Washington–A consulting group's findings that an asbestos trustfund to be created by proposed Senate legislation is woefullyinadequate came under withering criticism at a Senate JudiciaryCommittee hearing yesterday.

The decision by Committee Chairman Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., toconvene the hearing is a rarity since testimony is generally nottaken for legislation that has already been reported out. Thelegislation is S. 852, the Fairness in Asbestos Injury ResolutionAct of 2005.

The hearing was held against the background of a promise latelast week by Senate Majority Leader William Frist, R-Tenn., thatmoving the asbestos legislation through the Senate will be thefirst order of business when Congress reconvenes in January.

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