Is the economy bound for a recession? That’s arguably the biggest question in business right now. Experts are divided, with Goldman Sachs and Moody’s sounding cautiously optimistic, and billionaires Elon Musk and Leon Cooperman fearing the worst. The White House, for its part, is focused intently averting a rail strike, fearing it could tip the scales. A forced agreement is making its way through Congress. On Nov. 28, President Joe Biden releasing a statement in support of legislative action.
Let me be clear: a rail shutdown would devastate our economy. Without freight rail, many U.S. industries would shut down. My economic advisors report that as many as 765,000 Americans—many union workers themselves—could be put out of work in the first two weeks alone. Communities could lose access to chemicals necessary to ensure clean drinking water. Farms and ranches across the country could be unable to feed their livestock.
As a proud pro-labor President, I am reluctant to override the ratification procedures and the views of those who voted against the agreement. But in this case – where the economic impact of a shutdown would hurt millions of other working people and families – I believe Congress must use its powers to adopt this deal.