WASHINGTON, DC | Congressman David Rouzer (NC-07) joined Congressman Ralph Norman (SC-05) and Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, Glenn "GT" Thompson (PA-15) in introducing a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to oppose the Department of Labor’s finalized H-2A Adverse Effect Wage Rates rule.
Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) and Senator Ted Budd (R-NC) are leading a companion effort in the Senate. This resolution has the support of 54 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives and 26 co-sponsors in the Senate.
"The Biden Administration's new H-2A rule is yet another example of a flawed regulatory agenda that creates barriers to U.S. agriculture production and causes needless uncertainty for our farm families," said Rep. Rouzer. "Congress must overturn this burdensome regulation, which is creating confusion and increasing costs for both producers and consumers at the grocery store. Repealing this rule will help to ensure our agriculture community can continue producing the world’s most abundant and affordable food supply."
Background Farmers across the country are struggling to cope with skyrocketing production costs which the Department of Labor’s (DOL) new and harmful H-2A regulation are expected to exacerbate. Currently, all H-2A workers are paid in accordance with the Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR). For years, producers have called on the DOL to make commonsense reforms to make the H-2A program more workable. Unfortunately, this new regulation only increases the complexity of the program, makes it more difficult for the farmer and agency to administer, and significantly increases the cost of utilizing the program. Under the new DOL rule, several job types on farms have separate and higher AEWRs. This change not only inflates H-2A wage rates, but it also creates a massive administrative burden for all farmers utilizing H-2A labor and will require them to separately track every activity of each employee on their farms to avoid violating the new rule. This new AEWR methodology ignores: - agricultural industry realities such as labor shortages; - the impact of program costs on competitiveness at home and abroad; and - the impact that higher costs have on job availability and downstream industries. This resolution is supported by over 590 agriculture groups as a part of the Agriculture Workforce Coalition, which includes over half of the state farm bureaus.