Senate Narrowly Confirms New MSHA Chief

Coal industry veteran David Zatezalo won confirmation on a 52-46 vote, with the two senators from his home state, West Virginia, divided on party lines.

Coal industry veteran David Zatezalo won confirmation to be assistant U.S. secretary of Labor for mine safety and health, the chief at the Mine Safety and Health Administration, on Nov. 15. The U.S. Senate confirmed him by a 52-46 vote, with the two senators from his home state, West Virginia, divided on party lines.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., voted no on the confirmation, while Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., voted for him.

Zatezalo's long career in the industry including a stint running coal mining company Rhino Resources, and some Democratic senators criticized that company's safety records in comments on the Senate floor before the vote.

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