Sunday, June 16, 2024

Newhouse reintroduces bipartisan labor reform act

Staff Report | July 5, 2023 5:55 PM

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Washington, reintroduced the Farm Workforce Modernization Act to the House alongside several Republican and Democrat representatives from across the United States, according to a Monday news release from Newhouse’s staff.

The news release relayed Newhouse’s comments on the legislation and its goals.

“The top concern for farmers and ranchers in Central Washington and across the nation is labor, and the problem is only getting worse…The Farm Workforce Modernization Act is the solution to creating a secure, reliable agriculture labor program to provide certainty to our farmers and ranchers for a stable and legal workforce for years to come.”

According to the news release, the act passed the House of Representatives with strong bipartisan support in the 116th and 117th Congresses. The release states that the legislation’s goal is to reform the current H-2A program – which allows U.S. employers to provide seasonal agricultural work to foreign nationals – to provide more flexibility for employers while ensuring protections for workers.

The program seeks to establish a process for agricultural workers in the U.S. to choose to earn legal status through continued agricultural employment and contribution to the U.S. agricultural economy, according to the release. The act is also intended to make the current H-2A program more responsive and user-friendly and to provide access to the program for industries with year-round labor needs.