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Articles by MAPLight.org

MAPLight.org is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that provides government transparency tools to shine a light on our broken system of money-dominated politics. We track all campaign contributions given to members of Congress and how every member of Congress votes on every bill, revealing connections between money and politics never before possible to see.

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A bill to help rescue miners in emergencies and protect miners’ safety was defeated in Congress three years ago. After passing the House, the bill, called the S-MINER Act, died in a Senate committee.

Mining interests, who were opposed to this bill, gave twice as much money in campaign contributions to House members who voted against the bill as they gave to members who voted in favor.

In the Senate committee where the bill died, mining firms gave more than twice as much money to committee members as the unions in support.

Background

The recent explosion at the Massey Energy coal mine in West Virginia that killed 29 coal miners has left many bewildered Americans questioning how the federal government could have prevented this tragedy. It has been reported that Massey was in violation of safety regulations and that federal regulatory oversight of mining conditions was lax.

In June of 2007, Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) introduced the Supplemental Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act (S-MINER) Act, which, according to the Congressional Research Service, would have supplemented existing mining provisions in the Federal Mine A... Read more