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AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Aboard Air Force One on Tuesday en route to Michigan, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre resumed her struggle to explain President Biden and the White House's position on the still-looming railroad strike.


As Townhall reported on Monday evening, Biden threw unions under the bus train by asking Congress to use its authority to enforce the "tentative agreement" the Biden administration had worked on with railroad companies in September, one that Biden called a "win for America" before a handful of unions — including America's largest rail union — voted to reject the agreement. 

That is, President Biden — who he and the White House claim is the most pro-union president ever — rolled over union members and told them "too bad, stay at work, and be happy about it."

But the unions are, unsurprisingly, not happy with it. "The Tentative Agreements that the majority of union members had voted down are now being touted by President Biden, despite that none of them contain any sick time whatsoever," a statement from Railroad Workers United criticized on Tuesday afternoon. "The 'most labor-friendly President in history has proven that he and the Democratic Party are not the friends of labor they have touted themselves to be," the statement continued before calling Biden and his fellow Democrats "wolves in sheep's clothing."


Nevertheless, Speaker Pelosi indicated on Tuesday that she would bring the bill Biden requested enforcing the tentative agreement and averting a strike on Wednesday, and the Senate is expected to join the lower chamber in swiftly passing the legislation ahead of the lockout and strike deadline for rail companies and unions. 

But questions about Biden and his administration's failure to negotiate a deal that was acceptable to union workers and subsequent decision to ask Congress to force the rejected deal anyway remain. When asked how Biden's claims of being pro-union mesh with his decisions surrounding the rail labor dispute, Karine Jean-Pierre refused to answer during Tuesday's airborne gaggle. 

Instead, Jean-Pierre reiterated her frequent explanation that "a rail strike would be unacceptable" because the resulting shutdown of America's rail system "would have devastating impacts" that in the first two weeks alone could mean 765,000 Americans would be out of work.

Jean-Pierre also tried to hype up the fact that the tentative agreement was agreed to by "a majority" of the 12 railroad unions and "includes a well-deserved" increase in pay for rail workers, but she failed to note that two main complaints among union members remain unaddressed in the agreement, including sick leave and paid time off. She also failed to note that the unions that had voted to reject the deal actually constitute a majority of union workers employed by railroad companies. 


When asked whether Biden supported Congress tacking provisions for such benefits onto the tentative agreement, taking the side of union workers over the rail companies, Jean-Pierre tried to point to the president's past advocacy for "paid leave because of its importance for families," but said in this case "the president's not going to take any action that would undermine" the tentative agreement set to be enforced by Congress.

A bit defensive, Biden's press secretary tried to argue that "the legislation to keep the rails running is not about undermining the right to strike," even though the legislation... directly blocks the rail unions' right to strike. "He's a president for all Americans," Jean-Pierre argued, although for union members it's likely they don't see him as their advocate in the White House now.

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