Mr. McKEON. Mr. Chairman, the Ellsworth amendment, as it has been explained, would modify the collection of fines to provide relief to those mine operators who pay their fines in a timely fashion. At the same time, it establishes a trust fund so that fines collected will be used for inspections and investigations. The amendment also creates a list of those mine operators who do not pay their fines, shining a spotlight to help promote payment in a timely fashion.
Unlike the underlying bill, this amendment would not do anything to inhibit implementation of the bipartisan MINER Act of 2006. Because this amendment offers positive reforms without dismantling the mine safety improvements under way, I am pleased to support its passage.
Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. GEORGE MILLER of California. Mr. Chairman, I want to rise in strong support of the gentleman from Indiana's amendment and commend him for his very thoughtful work and his diligence on putting this amendment together to make sure that we in fact attack the problem at hand, which was those few irresponsible miners who refused to pay their fines and that have a history of not paying. Then, also the creative use of these fines to provide better enforcement, better safety for our mine workers.
I rise in strong support and ask all of our colleagues to vote ``yes'' on the Ellsworth amendment.