House Agricultural Labor Working Group Releases Interim Report
On Tuesday, the House Committee on Agriculture's Agricultural Labor Working Group released an interim report on the labor challenges facing the agricultural sector. The report outlines initial findings based on a series of stakeholder roundtables the Working Group has held over the past four months. These roundtables covered topics such as challenges in accessing and navigating the H-2A temporary agricultural program and labor and producer perspectives on the H-2A program. The Working Group is co-chaired by Reps. Rick Crawford (R-AR) and Don Davis (D-NC) will work toward developing legislative solutions to the challenges identified in the interim report.
Farm Bill and Appropriations Update
As of this week, all four Agriculture Committee leaders have publicly stated support for extending the 2018 farm bill as they continue to work on the next farm bill. There is interest from both parties in including an extension on the next continuing resolution; however, specifics of an extension have yet to be determined. The current continuing resolution (CR) expires on November 17. Currently, most are optimistic that an agreement can be reached on another CR to temporarily fund the government and avoid a shutdown while the House and Senate continue work on the funding bills for fiscal year 2024. The House has passed seven of twelve of its appropriation bills but failed to pass the bill to fund USDA in September. The Senate passed three of its appropriation bills last week, including the USDA funding bill.