President Bush appointed a former mining executive from West Virginia to head the agency in charge of miners' safety.
The appointment of Richard Stickler was opposed by the United Mine Workers and Senate democrats. Congress is in recess, which means the President can appoint Stickler without Senate approval.
The appointment is expected to last about a year, until the end of the next session of Congress.
Stickler will head the Mine Safety and Health Administration, which has been without an agency head for two years.