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Ranking Member Cole Hearing Remarks on H.J. Res. 100

As delivered during today’s hearing:

We are here on exceptionally short notice on an emergency measure intended to address labor issues at the nation’s railroads.

As every person in this room knows, railroads represent the lifeblood of American commerce. Almost every item in this room has, at one point or another, been carried on a train. Ensuring that the nation’s railroads remain open and operating to carry goods to all points of the compass is critical, and indeed vital, not only to the economy but to our national security.

Unfortunately, we are here today because of yet another blunder by the Biden Administration. As we have repeatedly seen, whether on the withdrawal from Afghanistan, on the promise to forgive student loans, on gas prices and now on labor negotiations, the Biden Administration has a bad habit of making pie-in-the-sky promises that they cannot keep. 

At this late hour, it is clear that there is little we can do other than to support this measure. The clock is running out, and the president has made clear that this resolution is necessary to avoid a costly strike at the nation’s railroads right as we go into the holiday season. With the economy ready to slide deeper into a recession, we cannot risk that outcome. Congress, in my view, must act.

However, it must also be said that it is astonishing that we are being asked to clean up President Biden’s mess. The president ran on a platform of being a stable, trusted hand at the tiller. But instead of being a stabilizing force, the president’s policies are only leading to more uncertainty. 

This is a sorry state of affairs, and it is deeply concerning that Congress is being asked to take extraordinary action to pull this hot potato out of the fire before the American economy crashes. I would hope the president takes a lesson from this episode, one that ensures he will be more focused in the future on the best interests of the American people.

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