"The House on Wednesday failed to pass a bill to make it easier for federal regulators to shut down mines with a history of safety problems, dealing a blow to groups that had sought tougher regulation.
The vote was 214-193, short of the two-thirds majority needed for passage under rules that allow for expedited consideration of noncontroversial measures.
The loss was mostly symbolic, as the legislation had little chance of making it through the Senate before a new Congress takes over next year. But it also showed the power of the coal industry to beat back threats even after the worst U.S. coal-mining disaster in 40 years tarnished the broader industry.
Under the legislation, the Mine Safety and Health Administration could have found it easier to close mines with a history of problems. Current efforts have been thwarted as companies have challenged federal regulators and have complicated efforts to place mines under review for repeat offenses."