Swamp Monster in the White House: See no evil, fix no evil.

Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank makes no secret about disliking Donald Trump. Instead of “draining the swamp” as he promised his supporters, Trump has become the “Swamp Monster” for his extreme secrecy (keeping White House visitor logs hidden), populating his administration “with former lobbyists, lawyers and consultants who are making policy for the industries that…

Trump Signs Repeal of Volks Rule: Workers Lose

President Trump yesterday signed the resolution repealing the Volks rule , thereby permanently removing OSHA’s ability to cite patterns of injury and illness recordkeeping violations.  The resolution, passed under the Congressional Review Act, is yet another step in the Administration’s goal of deconstruction the administrative state, or as the Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne explained recently: In…

If Neil Gorsuch is Confirmed, “More Workers Will Die on the Job”

Will the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch be good for worker safety? The clear answer is “No.” Allow me to elaborate. Neil Gorsuch is the judicial embodiment of Steve Bannon’s commitment to deconstruct the regulatory state. Emily Bazelon and Eric Posner argue in the New York Times: “The reality is that Judge Gorsuch embraces a judicial philosophy…

Beware of Trumps Bearing Gifts — or Ideas for Fixing Government

President Trump recently appointed his 36 year-old son-in-law, Jared Kushner,  to head up an effort to make government more efficient. Ron Klain, who has served in numerous top White House positions (including a very impressive stint as Ebola Czar where I worked with him), is skeptical. Aside from the fact that Jared has a few other…

Acosta Hearing: We watched so you wouldn’t have to

Alexander Acosta, the President’s nominee for Secretary of Labor testified today before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee. If you’re interested, you can watch the entire hearing here, although that would be two and a half hours you will never get back. I’m going to review the parts of the hearing that addressed workplace…

OSHA Recordkeeping Rule Dead: Senate Votes. Workers Lose

The Senate just  voted to repeal OSHA’s Volks rule making it impossible for OSHA to enforce its recordkeeping standard. Workers will pay the price. More injured. More sick. More dead. It was a straight party line vote. We put up a good fight.  Good work everyone who worked to defeat this. Way to go Republicans.…

Kentucky and West Virginia Move to Weaken Protections for Coal Miners

When you think coal mining, your think West Virginia and Kentucky. And when you think coal mine disasters, you think West Virginia and Kentucky. Traditionally, West Virginia and Kentucky have taken a special interest in the safety of their miners — to the extent that they both run their own mine safety enforcement programs that…