Pelosi stops short of pledging new mine safety legislation

Obama yesterday said that he has tasked Labor Department officials to work with Congress to “strengthen enforcement of existing laws and close loopholes that permit companies to shirk their responsibilities.”

The explosion at Massey Energy Co.’s Upper Big Branch mine killed 29 workers, making it the nation’s worst mining accident in four decades. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) has said there needs to be legislation, but has not indicated a timeline, and notes the investigation of the accident will be lengthy.

Update: "We need to thoroughly review what happened here and see if this was a failure to follow existing laws and regulations, in which case the focus should be not on creating new law but on stepped-up enforcement," Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said Friday afternoon.

This post was updated at 2:31 p.m. on April 16.