The Senate voted Wednesday to substantiate David Zatezalo, a former coal mining govt who confronted harsh criticism over his firm’s security report, to guide the federal authorities’s mine security company.
The vote was 52 to 46, with all Republicans in favor and all Democrats opposed.
Once he’s sworn in to guide the Labor Department’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), Zatezalo can be chargeable for security throughout all the nation’s mines, together with these for coal, metals and different substances.
Zatezalo, a West Virginia native, retired in 2014 as head of Rhino Resources, a coal mining firm. Rhino had quite a few run-ins with MSHA enforces underneath his management, together with two “pattern of violations” letters, a uncommon warning from regulators.
At his affirmation listening to, Zatezalo mentioned he wasn’t pleased with Rhino’s security report.
“I did not try to lawyer up and stop anything from happening. I felt if you haven’t done your job we should be big kids and deal with it as such,” he mentioned.
Democrats cited that security report in voting towards him. Among them was Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinDems mull huge adjustments after Brazile bombshell A bipartisan bridge opens between the House and Senate Collins, Manchin to function No Labels co-chairs MORE (D-W.Va.), who has supported lots of President Trump’s nominees as he faces a troublesome reelection battle subsequent 12 months.
“It is disappointing to me that President Trump nominated one of the industry’s worst health and safety offenders to lead this critical agency,” Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayA bipartisan bridge opens between the House and Senate Overnight Health Care: ObamaCare sign-ups surge in early days Collins, Manchin to function No Labels co-chairs MORE (Wash.), prime Democrat on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, mentioned on the Senate flooring earlier than the Zatezalo vote.
“This is another move in a long list of decisions by President Trump that jeopardizes workers’ health, safety and financial security in order to prioritize corporations and special interests.”
Republicans have been pleased with Zatezalo, and welcomed him as somebody with with the expertise and information wanted to implement security legal guidelines with out being too heavy-handed.
“He knows about various levels of the business, which will be an important badet as he works with operators, miners and inspectors to ensure that mining operations are safe for our nation’s mineworkers,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell expects Paul to return to Senate subsequent week Former Hill workers requires necessary harbadment coaching Gaming the percentages of any GOP tax invoice getting signed into legislation MORE (R-Ky.) mentioned.
“Having begun his career as a coal miner himself, and having later managed and operated a number of mines, Mr. Zatezalo has a keen understanding of the challenges and risks sometimes badociated with mining, and this firsthand experience will serve him well in his new role.”