The Senate may be receptive to the Farm Workforce Modernization Act

The push continues to convince enough senators that the passage of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act will provide certainty for both farm owners and workers while battling inflation.

The bill would establish a program for workers to earn legal status, more flexibility for employers, critical protections for workers, and an e-verify system for all agriculture employment.

After passing in the House for the second time, U.S. Representative Dan Newhouse feels like senators are coming around.

“I think I can best say at this point, we have been making a lot of progress with the Senate. A lot of important work has been happening between Senators and House members and the staff of offices in both the Senate and the House. A lot of ideas are being exchanged, and paperwork is being exchanged, so a lot of conversation is happening and I’m very encouraged by that,” said Representative Newhouse.

Newhouse says today’s labor challenges are not lost on the Senate.

“I think I’ve said before that there is a growing number of senators that understand the critical nature of this problem and why agriculture needs a legal workforce,” Newhouse said.

He says the need is becoming more and more clear.

“We’re labor-short, to begin with, and legal labor is very short, so we need reforms in the H-2A program,” said Newhouse.

He says his goal is to see this bill become law before the end of this term.


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