WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - The U.S. House of Representatives, despite arguments by various Democrats, passed two legal reform bills Thursday.

The House voted 220-201 for the Fairness in Class Action Litigation and Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act of 2017, or H.R. 985.

The House, in a vote soon after, also passed the Innocent Party Protection Act of 2017, or H.R. 725 -- known as the Fraudulent Joinder Prevention Act last Congress -- 224-194.

The class action/asbestos trust legislation was debated by lawmakers for hours before a vote was taken shortly before 7 p.m. ET.

U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, a Texas Republican and the sponsor of the FACT Act before it was merged with the class action bill, strongly argued in favor of the legislation.

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