Reform is Worth the Fight: Rep. Newhouse gives update on the Farm Workforce Modernization Act

Many farmers had hoped this growing season would come with reform to the ag labor system. It has been a long haul with plenty of frustration as Congress tackles the Farm Workforce Modernization Act.

One of its key sponsors gives us an update.

Congressman Dan Newhouse of Washington state says that the Farm Workforce Modernization Act will primarily reform the H-2A program, and while the bill is not progressing as farm-state lawmakers would like, they are still plugging away.

“We continue to work tirelessly with our Senate counterparts to move this legislation forward,” Rep. Newhouse states. “Almost every day, we’re doing something with our Senators so that we can make some progress, but unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of great things to report at this point.”

Newhouse admits it has been frustrating, but he says that reform is worth the fight, and more lawmakers are realizing just how important it is.

“There’s, I think, a growing amount of support for doing something. People recognize the urgency in our agricultural industry for labor in most parts of the country. Not all people see it the same way. We’re just not at the sweet spot yet where we can get a bill to the floor of the Senate.”

With the spring growing season underway for a large number of farmers, Newhouse says there is no time to waste: “The work season is upon us. The farms need the help now and these obstacles to getting people into the country are very poorly timed.”


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