Boozman: Senate fate of rail bill depends on add-ons | TheFencePost.com
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Boozman: Senate fate of rail bill depends on add-ons

Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., ranking member on the Senate Agriculture Committee, speaks at an event celebrating passage of the Global Malnutrition Prevention and Treatment Act in the Kennedy Caucus Room of the Russell Senate Office Building on Tuesday evening. Photo by Jerry Hagstrom, The Hagstrom Report
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Whether the Senate votes in favor of a bill to stop a railroad strike depends on whether House progressives insist on adding measures to the tentative agreement that the railroads and the unions negotiated and on which the House will vote today, Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., told The Hagstrom Report Tuesday evening.
Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., ranking member on the Senate Agriculture Committee, speaks at an event celebrating passage of the Global Malnutrition Prevention and Treatment Act in the Kennedy Caucus Room of the Russell Senate Office Building on Tuesday evening. Photo by Jerry Hagstrom, The Hagstrom Report
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Boozman, ranking member on the Senate Agriculture Committee, made the comment on the sidelines of an event celebrating the passage of the Global Malnutrition Prevention and Treatment Act.
Farm groups have said that a strike would be very damaging to American agriculture.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Tuesday announced, “After hearing from our members, we are in agreement that a nationwide rail strike must be prevented — and that more must be done to secure the paid sick leave that hard-working railroaders deserve. Therefore, we will proceed with the following procedure on the floor tomorrow:
“First, we will consider the strike-averting legislation to adopt the tentative agreement, as negotiated by the railroad companies and labor leaders.
“Next, we will have a separate, up-or-down vote to add seven days of paid sick leave for railroaders to the tentative agreement.
“Then, we will send this package to the Senate, which will then go directly to President Biden for signature.”
Boozman did not comment directly on Pelosi’s announcement about the legislation.
A strike is looming as early as Dec. 9, but business leaders say the impact would be felt sooner because businesses would be concerned about alternative transportation for their goods.
Meanwhile, The Washington Post reported on the detailed machinations about the vote.
The Post reported that Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said he would not allow the chamber to proceed unless he at least could hold a vote on adding paid sick leave to the deal and that Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said he was willing to vote to impose the labor agreement to avoid a strike that would harm farmers and the agriculture industry overall.
“This has gone on long enough,” Grassley said in a statement. “If the parties cannot come to a deal by the end of the cooling-off period, it may be time for Congress to step in.
”House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., announced late Tuesday that the House would vote today on H.J. 100 “to provide for a resolution with respect to the unresolved disputes between certain railroads represented by the National Carriers’ Conference Committee of the National Railway Labor Conference and certain of their employees.”
Hoyer said the rule “will provide for one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking member of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.”
Hoyer said that the first votes of the day will take place between 9:45 and 10:30 a.m. and the last votes between 11:15 a.m. and noon.
There will also be votes on bills on the suspension calendar.
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