Thursday, June 29, 2006
Interesting Hill piece:
Douglas Holtz-Eakin delivered a significant blow against the effort to revive asbestos-reform legislation when he testified earlier this month that a cost assessment of the measure he had provided in November as director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) was unrealistic.
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At the beginning of this year, Holtz-Eakin became the head of a think tank funded by a foundation set up by one of the biggest opponents of the asbestos-reform bill, American International Group, an insurance giant better known by its acronym AIG.
AIG is one of several entities that have poured tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars into an effort to defeat the asbestos reform bill, according to internal industry documents.
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Specter said at the hearing that there was “a 180-degree difference” between what Holtz-Eakin estimated the program would cost as CBO director and his subsequent comment that its cost was highly uncertain. The first time Holtz-Eakin testified it was at Specter’s invitation as CBO chief. The second time he was invited by an opponent of the bill, though it is unclear which member sought his testimony.