The U.S. House of Representatives voted today to block a national rail strike that would have dire consequences for the nation’s economy. The vote comes as the country continues to struggle with supply-side issues and problems with key transportation hubs, including low-water levels along the Mississippi River.
The National Corn Growers Association said the vote was a welcome development.
“Rail is crucially important to America’s corn growers, who rely on it to ship grains and fertilizer,” said NCGA President Tom Haag. “We are pleased to see that Congress is taking the necessary action to ensure that rail service continues to operate.”
A deal to avert a strike appeared imminent in recent months, but a disagreement over paid sick days put the country back on the pathway to a strike, which could have begun as early as Dec. 9. Left with no other options, Pres. Biden urged Congress to act.
The House passed a separate bill that would give rail workers seven sick days. Both bills now move to the Senate. The first is expected to pass. The fate of the second is unclear.