The week of June 18 promises to be action-packed, as the U.S. House intends to take up the hot-button issues of immigration and agricultural policy.
This timing results from an agreement between House leadership and the House Freedom Caucus following a failed Farm Bill vote on May 18. The conservative membership of the Freedom Caucus, dissatisfied with the inaction on immigration legislation, chose to leverage their Farm Bill vote for floor consideration of the Securing America’s Future (SAF) Act. This strategic decision led to the Farm Bill’s failure on the House floor by a vote of 198-213.
The SAF Act includes the Agricultural Guestworker (AG) Act, which replaces the current H-2A program with a new H-2C program. While concerns remain on certain provisions, Florida Farm Bureau is supportive of moving this process along to achieve enhanced reforms to the current system.
Florida Farm Bureau has spent decades advocating for agricultural labor reforms since the H-2A program was implemented in the early 1990s. The “Farm Bill” is the most significant piece of federal legislation on agricultural policy that requires Congressional action every five years. These two major policy priorities, scheduled to surface on the House floor within the same week, could finally see some long-sought progress.