Thursday, December 1, 2022

House Passes Rail Strike Legislation

Yesterday the House passed both HJ Res 100 and H Con Res 119, the two resolutions that would stop the railroad unions starting a strike on December 6th. HJ Res 100 passed by a recorded vote of 290 to 137. H Con Res 119 passed by a recorded vote of 221 to 207.

Resolution Provisions

HJ Res 100 would impose upon the railroads and their unions the tentative agreement reached between the parties that was based upon the recommendations of Presidential Emergency Board No. 250 issued on August 16, 2022, whether or not the unions ratified that agreement.

H Con Res 119 would amend the enrolled version (the version to be sent to the President for signature) of HJ Res 100, inserting a new §1(b), Paid Sick Leave. The new subsection would modify the ‘tentative agreement’ by adding language providing for 7 days of paid sick leave and a requirement that the use of such sick leave “will not result in any points, demerits, or disciplinary citations under any party's attendance policy.”

H Con Res 119 would also insert a new §2, Negotiations and Arbitration. This new section would require the parties to the ’tentative agreement’ to “negotiate the implementation of the 7 days of paid sick leave imposed on such parties by section 1(b).” If the negotiations are not successful within 30 days of passage of HJ Res 100, the parties would be required to “enter into binding arbitration on such matter to provide for a final resolution of such unresolved matter.”

Moving Forward

The two resolutions now move to the Senate for consideration. The Senate will certainly take up HJ Res 100. The bipartisan vote in the House almost certainly means that the Senate will have enough votes for a successful cloture vote on the resolution. There will be enough votes for passage, even though many of those yeah votes will cause some internal political consternation, but no one wants a railroad work stoppage.

The consideration of H Con Res 119 is not as certain. There will be significant Republican opposition to the second resolution. It is not clear at this juncture if there will be ten Republicans that would vote for H Con Res 119

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