WASHINGTON — President Biden On Tuesday morning, congressional leaders representing both parties told each other that they must act to Stop a nationwide strike on rails, claiming that it was illegal “not an easy call” But it was necessary, because the economy would be “at risk” If there is a work interruption, the trains will be shut down.
M. Biden Reporters were informed that he was “confident” Congress could find a way to prevent strikes.
Mr. Biden’s comments came as he met with the lawmakers to They will discuss a variety of issues that they face in the coming days. These include funding the government, supporting Ukraine, and protecting the same-sex marriage.
The White House made a short statement stating that Mr. Biden Had summoned leaders to A meeting in the Roosevelt Room “to discuss legislative priorities through the end of 2022.”
Mr. Biden He and his Democratic allies at Capitol Hill are hopeful to Make the most of these next weeks while the party controls both chambers. The Republicans will have a slim majority of the House when the new Congress starts in early next year. This will give them control over the agenda.
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On Monday night Mr. Biden We urge lawmakers to swiftly pass legislation that would prevent a labor stoppage by rail workers next month, saying that such a move could have devastating effects on the nation’s economy.
“Congress has the power to adopt the agreement and prevent a shutdown,” The president made the statement in a statement. “It should set aside politics and partisan division and deliver for the American people. Congress should get this bill to my desk well in advance of Dec. 9 so we can avoid disruption.”
Mr. Biden’s call for Congress to Act recognizes that a rail strike could have devastating effects on fragile economic recovery following the coronavirus pandemic. Frozen railroad lines would disrupt supply chains of commodities like lumber, coke, and chemicals. This could delay the delivery of automobiles and other consumer products, which will drive up prices.
On Monday night, Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated that the House would vote on this matter this week. This was ahead of the strike deadline in early December. It is uncertain what will happen in Senate. Democrats hold 50 seats in the 100 member chamber, and most bills require Republican support. to pass.
President Trump is a staunch supporter of unions and has previously argued against congressional intervention into railway labor disputes. He claimed that it unfairly interferes in union bargaining efforts. He was elected to the office in 1992. one of only six senators to Vote against legislation to end another bitter strike of rail workers.
The decision to Congress should be a part of the solution to The labor dispute is a risky gamble that could endanger to His biggest supporters in labor were angered.
Although many members are likely to be to While some union leaders may be upset at the prospect of congressional intervention in this matter, others may prefer that intervention. to You can come in December instead of January. That is when the House becomes under Republican control. to Get the skimpier deal back.
Congress is the only authority to intervene in a variety of ways. It could extend the negotiation period or push back the strike deadline. to Include an arbitrator. It could also enact a deal directly through legislation — whether it was the agreement that some unions already have voted down, or a less generous proposal A presidential board was issued in the summer.
The agreement was rejected by many rail unions and would increase wages by close to 25 percent between 2020 (when the last contract expired) and 2024. It has been criticized by rail workers, who feel it doesn’t go far enough. to Resolve what they call punishing schedules that cause them to lose their lives and their health.
American Trucking Associations (an industry group) recently estimated Relying on trucks to work around a rail stoppage would require more than 450,000 additional vehicles — a practical impossibility given the shortage of equipment and drivers.
The railroad industry supported Mr. Biden’s call for legislation.
“No one benefits from a rail work stoppage — not our customers, not rail employees and not the American economy,” Ian Jefferies, chief executive of Association of American Railroads (which represents major carriers), stated in a statement. “Now is the appropriate time for Congress to pass legislation.”
The tentative agreement was rejected by four of the 12 unions representing over 100,000 employees at large freight railroad carriers. Biden In September, the administration was a broker.
Many workers suspect that Congress will intervene in their favor rather than allowing them to continue working. to strike, a suspicion of Mr. Biden’s labor secretary, Martin J. Walsh, heightened during an interview with CNN This month, he stated that Congress would have to If the sides cannot reach an agreement, they can take action. It was unclear if Mr. Walsh was suggesting intervention or speaking hypothetically.
The Senate is also set for Tuesday. to vote on legislation to Federal protections for same-sex married couples. The House will have the ability to pass the bill if it passes. to Vote on it before the expiration of the current Congress, and then send it to Mr. Biden’s desk for his signature.
In addition, lawmakers face a mid-December deadline to Fund the federal government. A failure to Parts of the federal government could be shut down if they can agree to a temporary spending plan.