When the GOP takes over control of the House next year, the Education and Labor Committee will be led by John Kline (R-MN). Kline supported tougher mine safety regulations in 2006, but has lately been at odds with outgoing chair George Miller (D-CA), who will remain on the committee.

Mine safety is not always a partisan issue, but government regulation almost always is. And it’s unclear how Kline may handle proposed updates to mine safety laws in the wake of the Upper Big Branch explosion.

The Courier-Journal sums up the concerns many safety advocates have as Kline prepares for his new role.

And since his 2006 vote on mine safety, he has been less friendly to follow-up efforts by Miller and others to further change the laws.

Kline opposed a 2008 mine-safety bill and earlier this year labeled called Miller’s latest measure “ill-advised” and “a much more expansive approach” than was necessary.

In a column in The Washington Times, he advocated “restrained federal involvement” in workplace issues.