Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Selection of OSHA Administrator Up in the Air

Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Selection of OSHA Administrator Up in the Air

Article excerpt

In early February, sources in touch with the Bush administration's effort to fill subcabinet posts at the Labor Department were saying it could be weeks or even months before a new assistant secretary of labor for OSHA is named.

Among the reasons for the delay:

* The administration was burned by moving too fast on its first choice to head the Labor Department, Linda Chavez. No one wants to make the same mistake twice, and FBI background checks take time.

* Subcabinet positions take more time than cabinet posts because they usually involve negotiations between the president and the department head.

* The Florida recount cost the administration time.

On the day Bush took office, Jan. 20, White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card fired off a memorandum to all departments and agencies directing them not to send any more final regulations to the Federal Register until they are reviewed by a Bush appointee.

To buy time for reviewing the many rules issued in the final days of the Clinton Presidency, the memorandum slapped a 60-day delay on all published rules that had not taken effect. …

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