Senate Passes Bill To Avert Rail Shutdown After House Gives Nod

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The Senate has passed a bill to implement a tentative agreement aimed at averting a national rail shut down with bipartisan support.

It comes a day after the House of Representatives approved the legislation.

The measure will become law once it is signed by the President.

President Joe Biden thanked Congressional leadership who supported the bill and the overwhelming majority of Senators and Representatives in both parties who voted to avert a rail shutdown.

"Congress' decisive action ensures that we will avoid the impending, devastating economic consequences for workers, families, and communities across the country. Communities will maintain access to clean drinking water. Farmers and ranchers will continue to be able to bring food to market and feed their livestock. And hundreds of thousands of Americans in a number of industries will keep their jobs," he said in a statement.

Biden said he will sign the bill into law as soon as Congress sends it to his desk.

The agreement will raise workers' wages by 24 percent, increase health care benefits, and preserve two person crews.

With many Republican Senators joining Democrats in voting in support, the resolution was approved by a 80-15 vote.

Another resolution, to increase the number of paid sick leave in the contract from one to seven days, failed.

The passage of the main bill has eased concerns of a potential rail strike. The unions had given a December 9 deadline to reach an agreement.

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