(Center Square) – A rail shutdown that could have caused billions in damage to the economy according to experts was averted by a Senate vote Thursday.
The Senate voted 80 to 15 to approve a deal that gives railroad workers a 24% raise over the next five years. A second bill that would have added seven days of paid sick leave was rejected.
Sen. Kevin Cramer, RN.D., and Sen. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., urged their colleagues not to pass the second bill. They say letter if overriding another method will set the example.
“Other unionized workers in regulated industries may play a similar role in the future, giving Congress the arbiter of these types of labor disputes instead of the National Arbitration Board,” Cramer said. “It is in the best interest of all parties that railroads, not Congress, work on issues like paid leave directly with their employees.”
President Joe Biden is expected to sign the bill into law.
The rail strike will further exacerbate supply problems that are already plaguing the economy and costing up to $2 billion a day, according to Cramer. Supply chain issues are improving, but consumer prices are still rising, according to the The Federal Reserve’s November Beige Bookwhich compiles economic data for the Fed’s 12 regional districts.
The nation’s economic woes can be attributed to “free money” thrown into the marketplace, Cramer said in an interview with Center Square.
“It’s kind of building an airplane while we’re flying and we don’t know or we’re experiencing a kind of lockdown, the uncertainty of a disease that we don’t know much about and Republicans and Democrats have almost unanimously passed a lot of money to try to keep the economy going while the economy is going down,” Cramer said. the biden administration put a few trillion dollars into the economy when the economy was coming out of a funk and people were getting back to work. They spent a lot of money, unnecessarily. in my opinion, and it leads to inflation.
Cramer said he supported the Federal Reserve’s recent actions to reduce demand for goods and services, but wished the moves were not made too quickly. The Fed raised interest rates by 0.75 percent this year. But work needs to be done on the other side of the formula that led to the economic factors driving supply, Cramer said.
“What the Biden administration has done instead of encouraging supply is they’ve decreased supply and they’ve discouraged supply by over-regulating,” Cramer said.