When the Democratic-led House of Representatives voted again to authorize billions for the failed war in Afghanistan last night, there was no relief for 300,000 teachers facing cuts as the House originally wanted. Faced with a veto threat from President Obama for daring to provide stimulus to help hundreds of thousands of teachers, kids they teach, and the communities they serve, the House again folded to the Senate and passed a stripped-down “emergency” war supplemental for a nine-year-old war.

But there was apparently room for some money for working people: included in the bill was $22 million in mine safety funding. This money will help alleviate a “backlog of more than 17,000 cases involving mine operator appeals of safety and health violations,” according to the House Education and Labor Committee.

H.R. 4899, the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2010, will add an additional $22 million to the Mine Safety and Health Administration and the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission to attack the backlog of cases. The bill now goes to President Obama for his signature. [...]

Specifically, H.R. 4899:

  • Provides $18.2 million for mine safety activities and legal services related to the Department of Labor’s caseload before the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission.
  • Includes $3.8 million to reduce the backlog of cases at the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission.
  • It also provides authority to the Secretary of Labor to allocate funds to the Mine Safety and Health Administration, provided that congressional appropriations committees are given at least 15 days advance notice.

While the House was unable to stand up for teachers, at least some working people were able to get some needed help in the war bill.