October 25, 2014

Obama set to square off with GOP on HSR

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is pushing for a six-year, $53 billion investment in high-speed, higher-speed and expanded passenger rail service, but a fight is brewing with congressional Republicans. An initial $8 billion in funding for these rail projects is expected to be included in the president’s fiscal year 2012 budget request that will be [...]

Shipper protection bills back in Senate

Senators Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) have reintroduced legislation this Congress that would lasso railroad pricing power. S. 49, introduced by Kohl, would repeal some of the railroads’ antitrust exemptions. S. 158, introduced by Rockefeller and co-sponsored by Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, would increase the size of the U.S. Surface Transportation [...]

Two Senate friends of labor to retire

WASHINGTON — Two friends of labor — Democratic Senators Kent Conrad (N.D.) and Joseph Lieberman (Conn.) — say they will retire at the end of the 112th Congress in 2012. Conrad is completing his fifth six-year term; Lieberman completing his fourth six-year term. These announcements follow the retirement announcement of Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison [...]

Lame-duck legislation crucial for UTU members

WASHINGTON – A number of issues important to UTU members and working families is on tap for debate and vote this week as Congress returns for a lame-duck session. It is called a lame-duck session because House and Senate members who lost their seats in the Nov. 2 election remain in office until Dec. 31. [...]

Retired UTU member runs for Congress

Retired UTU member Tom Berry (Local 528, Chicago) has been endorsed by the Texas Democratic party to run for the U.S. House of Representatives in November, representing the Fifth Congressional District in Texas, which includes portions of Dallas. It will be an uphill battle. His Republican opponent, four-term congressman Jeb Hensarling, won with 84 percent [...]

UTU opposes taxing health care benefits

WASHINGTON – The UTU and 30 other trade unions have jointly written members of Congress in opposition “to any proposal” that would pay for health care reform “by altering the tax treatment of employer-provided health care. “We believe this would be a step in the wrong direction that could jeopardize the overall reform effort,” wrote [...]