The US is once again staring at the risk of a national railroad shutdown, which would block the flow of goods in the middle of the Christmas season. We’ll also address the Republicans’ disagreements over aid to Ukraine and how long you’ll have to work to pay your rent.
But take a look at the annual turkey allowance first.
Welcome to On The Money, your nightly guide to everything that affects your bills, bank account, and bottom line. For CNNBreakingNews, we’re Sylvan Lane, Aris Folley, and Karl Evers-Hillstrom. Are you forwarding this newsletter? subscribe here.
Railroad union rejects deal and prepares for December strike
Members of a major railroad union voted to reject a preliminary contract agreement negotiated by the Biden government, increasing the risk of a strike that would bring national railroads to a standstill.
Train and machine workers from the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART-TD) transportation division narrowly rejected the deal, the union said on Monday.
- The vote sets the stage for an exit at the beginning of December, in the middle of the Christmas shopping season, which requires increased shipping volumes.
- Railroads transport around a third of US freight, including large quantities of food, packaged goods, fuel, and auto parts that can’t be shipped otherwise.
- Workers are demanding better pay, more reliable working hours, stricter safety standards, and the ability to take time off when they are ill or have a doctor’s appointment.
Congress is likely to intervene: Union leaders expect lawmakers to use their powers to block a strike and enforce the terms of the deal negotiated by the Biden administration in September. But they’ll likely wait until the last minute to give the parties a chance to reach an agreement. This would cause railroads to reduce their services a week before the strike date, which would result in shipping delays and a closure of the commuter rail.
Karl has the story here.
Divided Rep. tiptoe on Biden’s plea for more help for Ukraine
The Republicans are tiptoeing over a recent request from the Biden administration for billions of dollars in aid for Ukraine as the party faces internal divisions on the road to support.
The White House last week asked Congress for more than $37 billion in additional aid to Ukraine in the face of Russia’s ongoing invasion. While some Republicans say they support the amount, many more have been wary of taking a stand.
- Lawmakers are considering attaching funding for Ukraine to the state funding laws to be passed during the Lahmenten session.
- Republicans are divided over whether major decisions on new funding should be postponed until next year to give the next Congress more say on how the government should be financed for fiscal year 2023, which began in October.
- Both parties strongly support the passage of aid to Ukraine during the Lahmentte period, as uncertainty grows as to whether a House of Representatives could hinder funding next year.
Aris Folley has more here.
This is how many hours do Americans have to work to earn rent
American workers, who earn average wages, must invest more hours than before the pandemic to afford rent, as monthly rental costs have far exceeded income.
A new report from Zillow found that workers across the country who earn an average hourly wage must work nearly 63 hours before they earn enough to cover typical monthly rents of an average of $2,040.
- This is about six hours more than was required before the pandemic.
- In the last five years, rents have risen by around 37 percent, while wages have risen by 23 percent over the same period.
Adam Barnes has more here.
PUMP THE BRAKES
Saudi Arabia denies the report of discussing an increase in oil production
Saudi officials denied reports on Monday that the kingdom was backtracking planned oil production cuts after the Wall Street Journal reported that Riyadh was considering an increase.
“It is well known and no secret that OPEC+ does not discuss decisions before its meetings,” Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said on Monday via the state news agency SPA. “The current OPEC+ cut of 2 million barrels per day will last until the end of 2023, and if further action needs to be taken by reducing production to balance supply and demand, we are always ready to intervene.”
Zack Budryk from CNNBreakingNews tells us what this could mean for oil prices.
Good to know
According to new court filings, the collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX owes its 50 largest creditors more than $3 billion.
The huge sum includes more than $1 billion that FTX owes its 10 largest creditors. The company said it was still reviewing the information and might need to update the list.
Other things we’re keeping an eye on:
- The Office of Congressional Ethics found that there is “substantial reason to believe” that Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) falsely asked for an invitation to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Benefit, commonly known as Met Gala, which may violate house rules and federal tendering law.
- NFL games that fans attended in the 2020-21 season were associated with increased COVID-19 case rates in the counties where they were played and around the stadiums.
That’s it for today. Thanks for reading, and check out the CNNBreakingNews financial page for the latest news and coverage. I’ll see you tomorrow.