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Ernst Statement on Senate Action to Prevent Rail Strike

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) issued the following statement with regard to the Senate’s action to prevent a rail strike:

“The ongoing uncertainty over the last weeks and months has been disruptive and problematic. A robust, effective, and efficient rail industry should benefit all Americans. President Biden could and should have done more to ensure a fair deal – for workers and all Americans. This is another example of President Biden failing. He passed the buck to Congress, and sold out our rail workers.

“Many of my former Iowa National Guardsmen, friends, and family, including my brother, work for the railroads. I know the frustration they are feeling from their Union leadership, the rail companies, and the Biden White House. They have valid concerns regarding quality-of-life and attendance policies, like failing to allow veterans to take Veterans Day off.

“Workers need to be fairly represented and fairly treated. This deal made by union bosses and railroad executives was rejected by tens of thousands of workers. This should have been resolved at the negotiating table, in good faith, by all parties, and not by Congress.

“No one wins when the railroads stop running. I recognize that a strike combined with existing challenges in the rail system, stretched supply chains, and bad economic times – brought on in large part by Democrats’ reckless spending — would not only be catastrophic for American families, farmers, and businesses, but also a national security threat.

“This deal isn’t perfect. Far from it. I would have much preferred these groups be forced to go back to the table, for the administration to do their job, and keep Congress out of it. I could not in good conscience allow a $2 billion dollar-a-day strike to leave farmers without access to markets, critical materials stranded, and stores bare. I supported the adoption of the tentative agreement – but I want the record to stand, I strongly believe it should never have come to this.”