Domestic Policy

Black-lung patients would be hurt by proposed coal mining rule, senators say

Seven Democratic members of Congress are urging the Labor Department to change a proposed rule that they say would harm black-lung patients.

In a letter to the department, the lawmakers say that the rule would make it harder for miners to receive medical reports prepared by coal operators' doctors or experts.

The lawmakers, including West Virginia Sens. John Rockefeller and Joe Manchin, cite a section of the rule that would change evidence standards in cases before administrative law judges.

The overall rule is aimed at modernizing administrative court procedures and addressing the increase in whistleblower and other workplace retaliation claims.

The Labor Department declined to comment on the letter.