This year began with the tragic deaths of miners at Sago and Alma Mines. Our entire nation mourned with those families. And we in Congress committed to passing laws to prevent such terrible incidents in the future.

I am proud of the bipartisan mine safety legislation that we passed this year. But these laws need strong leadership and enforcement. Richard Stickler has neither the record nor the vision to meet this challenge. That's why mineworkers and their families oppose him and have asked President Bush to withdraw his nomination.

Majority Leader Frist promised that this crucial position would not be filled without a vote. A recess appointment would mean the Republican leadership is breaking its word to the Senate, the American public, and to miners' families.

Our miners have already seen too many broken promises. President Bush should send the Senate someone who is worthy of this job.