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Dear Colleague on the Tentative Agreement with Railroaders

Dear Democratic Colleague,

As you know, President Biden has called on Congress to take action to protect the economic security of America’s working families and avert a devastating nationwide rail strike.  Tomorrow, the House will take up urgent and necessary legislation to that end: adopting the Tentative Agreement reached after months of hard-fought negotiations.

Democrats know that the middle class is the backbone of our Democracy – and the middle class has a union label on it.  Proudly, we have long stood with the hard-working railroaders in their fight against greedy railroad corporations for fairer wages, benefits and working conditions.  And it is outrageous that every developed country in the world has paid sick leave, yet America does not.

It is with great reluctance that we must now move to bypass the standard ratification process for the Tentative Agreement.  However, we must act to prevent a catastrophic strike that would touch the lives of nearly every family: erasing hundreds of thousands of jobs, including union jobs; keeping food and medicine off the shelves; and stopping small businesses from getting their goods to market.

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.

It is my hope that we will have a strong, bipartisan vote to support our legislation – which will give America’s families and businesses confidence in our economy this holiday season.

Thank you for your strong commitment to safeguarding the financial future of our families and our nation.


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