A Senate committee on Wednesday rejected the nomination of Texas lawyer Robert E. Rader Jr. to the panel that oversees workplace safety conditions after he was accused of trying to undermine enforcement of employee safety laws.
In two 8-8 votes, the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee killed President Reagan's nomination of Rader, refusing either to approve the nomination or to send it to the Senate floor without a recommendation.
Sen. Lowell P. Weicker Jr. (R-Conn.) voted with seven Democrats on the committee in opposing Rader, who Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) said had "made a legal career of undermining the enforcement activities" of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Sen. Howard M. Metzenbaum (D-Ohio) said that Rader had amply demonstrated that he could not be "fair-minded or unbiased" in a permanent seat on the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, the three-member panel that rules on corporate appeals when OSHA charges on-the-job safety violations.
Metzenbaum said that Rader, an interim panel member since last August, "has spent much of his career trying to prevent OSHA inspections of work sites" as a lawyer for various businesses fighting OSHA charges.
No one spoke in Rader's defense at the committee session.