The U.S. economy would face a severe economic shock if senators don’t pass legislation this week to avert a freight rail worker strike.
Biden administration presses senators to avert rail strike
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy would face a severe economic shock if senators don’t pass legislation this week to avert a freight rail worker strike. That’s the message the Biden administration is delivering personally to Democratic senators in a closed-door session Thursday.
The House acted soon after a request from President Joe Biden and on Wednesday passed legislation that would bind rail companies and workers to a proposed settlement that was reached in September but rejected by some of the 12 unions involved. But the Senate often works at a slower pace, and the timing of final votes is unclear.
Meanwhile, Labor Secretary Marty Walsh and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg are meeting with Democratic senators Thursday to underscore that rail companies will begin shuttering operations well before a potential strike begins on Dec. 9.
“If there’s even the possibility of a shutdown, about five days in advance of that, the railroads would have to begin winding down their acceptance of things like hazardous material shipments that you can’t allow to get stranded,” Buttigieg said in a CNBC interview.