The fight over how FedEx drivers should be treated has been going on for two decades. In 1996, FedEx was successful at getting Congress to beat back an effort by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) to change the labor status.
Jill Fisch, a law professor at University of Pennsylvania who has written about the political power of FedEx, said the company and its president, Smith, have successfully cultivated relationships with Congress.
She said he company was particularly effective in mobilizing its customers to lobby Congress to support its issues.
FedEx is a very savvy political player, Fisch said.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.