As the deadline for a national railroad strike looms, Joe Biden is urging Congress to intervene to avert a potential shutdown. Biden has asked Congress to approve a deal that would include pay increases, improved working conditions, and 'peace of mind' with respect to healthcare benefits for union workers. "A rail shutdown would devastate our economy," the President said. "Without freight rail, many U.S. industries would shut down. Communities could lose access to chemicals necessary to ensure clean drinking water. Farms and ranches across the country could be unable to feed their livestock."
The potential strike could not come at a worse time for the already struggling American economy. According to the Association of American Railroads, a potential strike would shut down around 30% of the country's freight traffic, and cost the economy roughly $2 billion daily.
Full Video Transcript Below:
J.D. DURKIN: Will Congress be able to prevent a national rail strike, if not congress, then who?
MARTIN BACCARDAX: They need to do this quickly, J.D., because there’s a chance of a rail strike on the 9th of December and it would be absolutely crippling, particularly given the time of year, but also the fact that it would shut down about 30% of U.S. freight capacity each and every day. And that's just not something that a weakening economy can deal with at this point. So if Congress does take it up this week, as they said, they would all very likely avoid that strike. And that will absolutely be good news.