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House Republicans Fight Biden Rule They Say Hurts Farmers

A group of House Republicans, led by Rep. Scott Franklin of Florida, is pushing back against a recent rule passed by the Biden administration that they argue would harm private property rights. The rule, finalized by the Labor Department, aims to establish labor standards for U.S. farmworkers. The Republicans are concerned that the rule could lead to increased costs for the agricultural industry and would allow activists and labor union members to access private farm and ranch properties.

Rep. Franklin expressed concerns about the potential impact of the rule on Florida growers, stating that it could have disastrous effects on the state’s agricultural industry. Specifically, he highlighted the challenges already faced by producers in meeting their labor needs and competing with supply from Mexico. The Republicans believe that the federal government should work with the industry to improve the H-2A program rather than imposing burdensome regulations.

To challenge the rule, the group of House Republicans is looking to use the Congressional Review Act, a procedure that allows lawmakers to overturn final rules issued by federal agencies. While the use of this method has been rare, the Republicans have employed it several times under the Biden administration. They argue that the provision allowing access to private properties goes against a Supreme Court ruling from 2021, which upheld that such access by third-party union organizers threatens private property rights.

The bill to reverse the Labor Department rule has garnered support from 16 House Republicans and several agricultural organizations, including the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association, Florida Citrus Mutual, and the Florida Strawberry Growers Association.

The Labor Department rule, scheduled to go into effect on June 28, aims to allow temporary agricultural workers to unionize. The Biden administration has praised the rule as a way to ensure fair treatment, workplace representation, and safety for farmworkers employed through the H-2A program.

 

Written by Staff Reports

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