As a direct result of the House Freedom Caucus leveraging their Farm Bill votes, House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte’s Securing America’s Future Act was brought to the House floor for consideration prior to the Farm Bill on June 21, as promised by leadership. As expected, the measure failed 193-231. American Farm Bureau released a statement the same day in support of the bill’s agricultural guest worker reforms. The legislation builds upon ongoing collaboration with policymakers to achieve a sustainable legal workforce for our nation’s agriculture industry.
The second piece of legislation, known as the “compromise” bill negotiated between House leadership, Freedom Caucus members and moderate Republicans, was delayed by a week to attempt to reach consensus. Goodlatte’s Agricultural Guestworker Act was initially included in the proposal to determine whether it would increase the whip count; when it did not win additional support to the bill, AFBF and FFBF pulled support, citing that any immigration legislation without workable ag guest worker reforms was an unacceptable option. It failed on June 27 by a wider margin than the first, 121-301.
Certain lawmakers have been promised House consideration of legislation devoted solely to agriculture labor reform in July. Details remain unknown on how this legislation finds a path forward.