Curtis Tate Published

Manchin, Capito Vote Against Paid Sick Leave For Railroad Workers

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., the GOP's lead negotiator on infrastructure, met with President Biden on Wednesday as an informal deadline next week nears for trying to reach a bipartisan deal.

U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito voted against paid sick leave for railroad workers on Thursday. It did not get the 60 votes it needed for approval in the chamber.

That means Congress will order railroad workers to accept a contract negotiated by labor leaders and the White House. The contract does not include the paid sick days they sought.

Speaking with West Virginia reporters earlier Thursday, Capito said she understands where the workers are coming from.

“And so I think their voices do need to be heard,” she said. “But I don’t think it’s the Senate’s role or the Congress’ role to negotiate these contracts.”

Capito said labor leaders should negotiate the terms directly with the railroad companies.

Some Republicans joined most Democrats to vote in favor of paid sick leave. Manchin was the only Democrat to vote no.

“While I am sympathetic to the concerns union members have raised,” Manchin said in a statement, “I do not believe it is the role of Congress to renegotiate a collective bargaining agreement that has already been negotiated.”

The Senate also voted Thursday to prevent railroad workers from striking. The measure now heads to President Joe Biden’s desk for his signature.