Democrats Voting Against Mine Safety Bill Took More Money From Mine Owners Than Mine Workers

Chad Outler | December 11, 2010

Dec. 10, 2010 -- The Robert C. Byrd Mine Safety Protection Act of 2010 failed to gain the 2/3 majority vote that was required to pass in the House of Representatives.

Over two dozen Democrats broke from their party and voted against the measure. The 27 Democrats who aided in defeating the measure received $3,374 on average from mining and manufacturing interest groups and only $1,537 on average from interests tied to mining unions.

House members who voted 'no' on the bill received an average of $2,587 from interests associated with the mining and manufacturing industries, while 'no' voters received an average of only $225 combined from contributions associated with mining unions. Mining unions supported the bill, while manufacturing and mining interests opposed it.

The single Republican vote in favor of the bill came from Walter Jones, who represents the 3rd District of North Carolina. Walters didn't receive money from any of the groups found to be interested in the legislation to date.

HR 6495, The Robert C. Byrd Mine Safety Protection Act of 2010, has received much less stated support and opposition than a previous mine safety bill, HR 5663 - The Miner Safety and Health Act of 2010. HR 5663 included broader employer responsibilities that would apply to industries other than mining and included criminal penalties for violators.

Includes reported contributions to congressional campaigns of House members in office on day of vote, from interest groups invested in the vote according to, October 14, 2008 – October 13, 2010. Contributions data source: