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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Confined Space

The days of being able to freely appoint industry hacks to important government positions may be drawing to a close for the Bush administration.

Facing certain defeat in a vote to close off debate, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist cancelled a scheduled vote this afternoon on the nomination of Richard Stickler to head the Mine Safety and Health Administration. Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) opposed Frist's motion to cancel the vote and demanded that the vote take place unless he was assured that the Bush Administration would not recess appoint Stickler. After consulting with the White House, Frist agreed that if Bush were to move to recess appoint Stickler, that a Senate vote in would occur first. (The President is allowed to "recess appoint" nominees when the Senate is out of session. Bush has used this tactic numerious times to appoint controversial nominees who can't get Senate approval.)

Kennedy issued a statement calling on Bush to "reconsider and to nominate someone to this crucial position who is a proven champion for mine workers’ safety.”

The Republican leadership’s decision to cancel the vote on the Stickler nomination today shows growing consensus that the nation’s coal miners and their families deserve much better. Mr. Stickler has a troubling history of bending the rules for mine companies and looking the other way when it comes to the safety of mine workers. Too many brave coal miners have lost their lives in recent months to allow a nominee with his record to go forward.
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read the rest here...Confined Space

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