'This Is A Win,' ABC, NBC Praise Biden For Avoiding Rail Strike

September 15th, 2022 11:23 AM

President Biden managed clear the lowest of bars in the early morning hours on Thursday morning when railway companies and unions reached a tentative agreement to avoid a strike that would have devastated the economy. For ABC White House correspondent Mary Bruce on Good Morning America and her NBC counterpart Peter Alexander on Today, not epically failing constituted a great success for Biden.

GMA host George Stephanopoulos noted the political consequences a strike would’ve had on Biden, “: Okay, Mary, and the president had a lot at stake politically as well.”

 

 

Bruce observed that “Look, Biden prides himself as being a champion of labor. He often describes himself in speeches as being the most pro-union president ever and we know he does like that nickname Amtrak Joe for his love of the trains, but with the midterms looming just eight weeks away and his economic recovery essentially at stake here and on the line, the president had to find a solution and avoid this shutdown.”

While many people were wondering “what economic recovery?” Bruce continued, “There is no question this is a win for this White House and there's definitely a sense of a huge sigh of relief here at the White House this morning.”

Over at Today, Alexander credited Biden with breakthrough that led to the deal, “This tentative agreement, the handshake, I'm told, coming at 2:30 this morning, according to aides, came after 20 consecutive hours of face-to-face negotiations led by the Labor Secretary Marty Walsh that included a crucial call from President Biden late last night. Walsh had warned that a strike would have been, in his words, catastrophic.”

Of course Biden aides give Biden credit. A better description of events was provided by CBS’s Ed O’Keefe who was more matter-of-fact. On CBS Mornings, O’Keefe reported, “President Biden announcing the deal earlier this morning saying in a statement ‘these rail workers will get better pay, improved working conditions, and peace of mind around their health care costs. All hard-earned.’ A handful of the dozen railroad unions had been holding out for a better agreement on sick leave. They had until tonight at midnight to reach a deal or cause a strike that would have affected almost 7,000 trains across the country.”

Usually presidents get credit for implementing policies that improve the economy, but ABC and NBC give Biden credit for simply not making it significantly worse than it already is due to his inflation-causing policies.

GMA was sponsored by Stanley Steemer and Today was sponsored by Subaru.

Here are transcripts for the September 15 shows:

ABC Good Morning America

9/15/2022

7:04 AM ET

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Okay, Mary, and the president had a lot at stake politically as well. 

MARY BRUCE: George, the president had a lot at stake. He was walking a very tight rope here. Look, Biden prides himself as being a champion of labor. He often describes himself in speeches as being the most pro-union president ever and we know he does like that nickname Amtrak Joe for his love of the trains, but with the midterms looming just eight weeks away and his economic recovery essentially at stake here and on the line, the president had to find a solution and avoid this shutdown. There is no question this is a win for this White House and there's definitely a sense of a huge sigh of relief here at the White House this morning.

***

NBC Today

9/15/2022

7:04 AM ET

PETER ALEXANDER: President Biden writing that the deal is a quote, “win for tens of thousands of rail workers who work tirelessly through the pandemic.” He says they’ll “get better pay, improved working conditions, and peace of mind around their health care costs.” He also praised the rail companies here. This tentative agreement, the handshake, I'm told, coming at 2:30 this morning, according to aides, came after 20 consecutive hours of face-to-face negotiations led by the Labor Secretary Marty Walsh that included a crucial call from President Biden late last night. Walsh had warned that a strike would have been, in his words, catastrophic. 

And just consider the consequences: 40 percent of this country’s products shipped long distance are moved by rail: from auto parts, to lumber, to the food that we eat. We had already seen possible implications, Hoda, with Amtrak preemptively canceling three long-distance train routes beginning today. 

***

CBS Mornings

9/15/2022

7:03 AM ET

ED O’KEEFE: President Biden announcing the deal earlier this morning saying in a statement “these rail workers will get better pay, improved working conditions, and peace of mind around their health care costs. All hard-earned.” A handful of the dozen railroad unions had been holding out for a better agreement on sick leave. They had until tonight at midnight to reach a deal or cause a strike that would have affected almost 7,000 trains across the country. 

We should point out this is a tentative agreement giving the union several more weeks to make sure the deal's ratified and avoid a national shutdown, but as you mentioned, this averts what could have been a significant supply chain crisis for the already-stretched trucking and shipping industries. One industry group warned it could have cost about $2 billion in lost productivity. Nate, good thing we're going to avoid that.