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Inside Biden’s calculated move to buck labor allies in hopes of averting a rail strike

Inside Biden’s calculated move to buck labor allies in hopes of averting a rail strike

There were no illusions inside the White House that the decision to call on Congress to impose a negotiated labor agreement on railroad workers and operators would be universally well received, several officials said.

President Joe Biden’s announcement of the move on Monday was as notable for its 506-word length and detailed, bordering on pained, explanation for the decision to implicitly buck close political allies as it was for the decision itself.

The fierce pushback from the labor movement was expected, even if unwelcome, one official said. Similar concerns from Democratic allies on Capitol Hill were viewed as inevitable as the White House moved toward a course of action pursued 18 times in the past to prevent a rail shutdown and the sweeping economic fallout that would follow. The House is expected to vote Wednesday on legislation to avert a rail strike.

Ahead of a December 9 deadline to avoid such a scenario, time was ticking.

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