Entry for September 24, 2006

The cartoon is by Mike Lane, at Cagle carttons.  (He used to be with the Baltimore Sun, but apparently has left.

On September 6, Bush resubmitted the nomination of former coal mine executive Richard Stickler to head MSHA.  The nomination had been returned to the White House before the August recess.

Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) placed a legislative hold on Stickler’s nomination for 3 months, saying that Stickler failed to demonstrate that safety was a priority during his tenure at the Pennsylvania Bureau of Deep Mine Safety and while working at  Beth Energy Mines.

Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA), joined Byrd in moving to send the nomination back to the White House, saying that they hoped this action would provide Bush with an opportunity to nominate “someone more dedicated to miner safety.”

In a statement released September 7, Byrd said,

The White House apparently has greater concern for politics than for mine safety.  The Senate rejected this nomination in August, and I hope that the Senate will do so again.

Kennedy, in another statement, said he found it

appalling that the president would renominate Richard Stickler for this critical mine safety position in the face of intense opposition from miners and their families.

Cecil Roberts, president of the United Mine Workers of America, said that by renominating Stickler,

President Bush has ignored the will of the U.S. Senate and added insult to injury to coal miners and their families.

Stickler currently has a 6-month contract to work as an advisor to the Department

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