Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) stands with labor unions as the Biden administration tries to find a way to avoid a rail strike. We’ll also look at the Republican backlash to a deal with Senator Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) and the failure of an IRS program aimed at prosecuting tax fraud for the wealthy.
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Sanders holds back forcing rail unions to accept the deal
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Wednesday rejected a Republican request to force railroad workers and companies to accept the recommendations of a nonpartisan committee to avoid a strike that could affect millions of Americans.
Sanders stood on the ground to prevent swift approval of the decision — introduced by Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee classification member Richard Burr (RN.C) and Senator Roger Wicker (R-M.M.) — requiring railroad workers to adopt the outlines of a business deal.
- Sanders argued that railroad companies were making huge profits and should start treating their workers more fairly.
- “The railroad industry has been making huge profits in recent years, and last year alone it generated a record $20 billion in profits,” Sanders said. “Last year, the CSX CEO received more than $20 million in total compensation while the executives at Union Pacific and Norfolk Southern received more than $40 million in total compensation.”
- By contrast, Sanders said workers in the freight rail industry are “entitled to a total of zero sick days.”
However, Republican senators say their decision will avoid a “catastrophic” rail strike, which could freeze rail travel and freight shipping across the country.
Alexander Bolton Hill He has more here.
Read more: The Railroad Union becomes the first to authorize a strike and threatens the supply chain
GOP expresses hostility to Manchin who allowed reform campaign
Some Republicans express hostility to Senator Joe Manchin (DW.Va)’s campaign to use a government funding bill to advance permit reform, adding to doubts about the future of the effort.
Republicans have long lamented the long time it takes to develop fossil fuels and other energy projects. Manchin’s efforts may be the best experience they’ve had in years to speed up the environmental review process for energy projects.
But Republicans also resent the party’s passage of a comprehensive climate, tax and health care bill passed under budget-adjustment rules that avoided disruption — an effort that Manchin has made possible.
- Republicans have no interest in making things easier before the midterms for divided Democrats who are already struggling to unite behind the plan. Many liberals vehemently opposed the Manchin reform agreement, and nearly 80 House Democrats opposed the plan.
- Manchin struck a deal to pass permitting the reform with Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (DNY) along with President Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) last month, according to the senators. Schumer said the agreement was part of a comprehensive deal to formally introduce the Climate, Tax and Healthcare bill titled Inflation Reduction Act.
- But the declarative reforms, which are expected to include environmental reviews truncated in the planning process for energy projects, have stalled a large group of House Democrats and prompted swift reactions from hundreds of advocacy groups.
The Hills of Rachel Frazen and Ares Details here.
A massive rise in Social Security (COLA) rates may be on the way — due to inflation
People who are on Social Security can see a spike in their paycheck from a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) which is itself a result of inflation.
In a letter sent on Tuesday, Senior Citizens League policy analyst Mary Johnson said recipients could see an 8.7 percent increase in COLA next year.
- This is a massive increase that reflects the high inflation people are seeing across the country, although at the same time, it’s actually a smaller COLA than the Seniors Association predicted just a month ago.
- At the time, Johnson was expecting a 9.6 percent increase.
Olafimihan Oshin in the hill break it here.
Profitable IRS program targeting wealthy tax cheats fades from lack of funds
Lawmakers and tax experts told The Hill that the IRS’ 6-to-1 return on investment program is fading due to lack of resources.
The IRS Whistleblower Program rewards people for providing information about tax fraud and typically pays out rewards of 15 to 30 percent of the money the government collects using whistleblower information.
- However, the program has seen a decline in funding and revenue thanks to its efforts in recent years, according to a report from the Senate Finance Committee this month.
- Experts say renewing it could help close a critical tax gap – the amount of money owed to the government each year that goes uncollected.
Tobias Burns in Hill break it here.
good to know
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on Wednesday that it will provide Nearly 2 billion dollars For food banks and school meal programs to buy American foods.
According to a statement from the administration, that breakdown would mean about $1 billion for emergency food providers and nearly half a billion for school lunch and breakfast programs. Almost half a billion more will be allocated to expanding the existing domestic food purchase assistance program.
Here are the other things we’re watching:
- Amtrak will cancel all long-distance trains from Thursday to Avoid turbulence ahead of a possible strike by rail workers later this week.
- President Biden on Wednesday predicted a future in the United States where electric vehicle (EV) charging stations will be the same easy to find As gas stations while announcing the first round of financing to build a national freight network.
That’s enough for today. Thank you for reading and checking out The Hill’s Finance page For the latest news and coverage. OK see you tomorrow.