The recess appointment expired at the end of 2007. In a somewhat bizarre chain of events, MSHA removed Stickler’s bio from the agency’s website and announced Jan. 3 that Stickler’s assistant was the acting assistant secretary. But his tenure was brief: On Jan. 4, Bush named Stickler the new acting assistant secretary, a move that does not require congressional approval and is likely to last until the end of Bush’s term. After press reports that Stickler’s bio had been removed, it’s now back online.
Mine Workers (UMWA) President Cecil Roberts says: “The appointment of Richard Stickler to be acting assistant secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health, just days after his term in that position expired because he couldn’t be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, demonstrates the deep level of contempt the Bush administration holds for the Senate and the constitutional role that body holds.”