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Stickler reappointment as head of MSHA outrageous, UMWA's Roberts says

date: 
January 7, 2008

United Mine Workers of America International President Cecil E. Roberts issued the following statement today:

“The appointment of Richard Stickler to be Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health, just days after his term in that position expired because he couldn’t be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, demonstrates the deep level of contempt the Bush administration holds for the Senate and the constitutional role that body holds.

“The Senate has pointedly refused to confirm Mr. Stickler to this position twice, and refused to bring his name up for confirmation just a few weeks ago. Clearly, ‘no’ is not an answer the administration respects when it comes to Mr. Stickler.

“The UMWA’s position on Mr. Sticker has remained consistent from the day he was first nominated in 2005. We do not believe someone who has spent the majority of his working life as a coal company manager, supervisor and executive ought to be appointed as head of the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration.

“The U.S. Senate has agreed with us, under both Democratic and Republican leadership. For the Bush administration to continue to subvert the will of the American people, as expressed by their elected representatives in the United States Senate, is frankly outrageous.

“It appears to me that the president believes that there are no restrictions whatsoever on who can serve in positions in the government, and the constitutional requirement for Senate confirmation be damned. Would he do this if it was a failed Attorney General nominee? A failed Secretary of State nominee? This action sets a dangerous precedent that cannot be allowed to stand.”

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