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Biden's push to avert rail strike splits GOP, Democrats in Senate
‘Railroad Joe failed’ as Congress scrambles to avert strike, says GOP lawmaker
Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., discusses the looming rail strike as Congress tries to find middle ground ahead of vote and the Biden administration taking heat for their energy policies.
President Biden's push to avert a national railroad strike faces significant obstacles from both Democrats and Republicans in the 50-50 Senate, creating uncertainty over what the Senate can pass just days before rail unions are threatening to walk off the job.
The House on Wednesday passed a bill that imposes upon unions a contract agreement that was negotiated in September. That agreement, which has already been approved by eight transportation unions, would grant workers three unpaid sick days as long as the employers were provided with at least 30 days' notice before the time was taken.
Four transportation unions, compromising nearly 100,000 rail workers, say the deal is unfair and threatened a national strike unless the agreement is broadened to include more paid sick leave. The House passed a second bill granting rail workers seven paid sick days in a nod to that demand, but with help from just three Republicans.
A day later, it's not clear how the Senate will react. There is a broad expectation the Senate will approve the first bill to make a labor strike illegal with help from both Republicans and Democrats, but it's not clear if the numbers are there.
HOUSE PASSES BIDEN-BACKED BILL TO AVERT RAIL STRIKE