“Congress’s role is not to help negotiate a rail settlement, it’s to approve one. You don’t need 535 arbiters negotiating the details of a labor agreement. At the end of the day, averting a shutdown of service and a full-blown economic crisis is critical. As important as rail workers and as important as railroads are, there are 330 million Americans who will suffer if there’s a work stoppage. We’re in an economic crisis already. It will only worsen inflation. We are starting to see layoffs ahead of a recession. We have a broken supply chain. A work stoppage is not just putting more fuel on the fire, it’s an atomic explosion.
“Every consumer in America who purchases something that either partially or entirely moves by rail will be hurt by this. Prices will go up if you can get the item at all and jobs will be lost.
“The cascading effect of a rail strike that lasts more than a day or two would be catastrophic. We will have unrecoverable losses until there inevitably are calls for a federal bailout or new American Rescue Plan – and we know how that went.
“Farm products like grains and soybeans don’t get to market. Patients don’t receive their prescriptions. The chemical industry completely shuts down. We have to do our part.” -- Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-ND