Senate Republicans weigh in on H-2A costs

A Senate Ag Committee member says Republicans are calling for a wage freeze to the H-2A program.

Indiana’s Mike Braun tells Brownfield the Department of Labor is setting minimum wages for H-2A quest workers farmers can’t afford.

“It’s been complicated even more by what’s going on in the border,” he says. “Most farmers I talk to that are specialized or need that kind of help somehow tough it out. They just say it gets harder each year. That’s something we constantly try to weigh in with the involved agencies.”

Braun recently joined several Republicans, including his counterpart Senator Todd Young in Indiana, and Senators from Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota, calling on Congressional leadership to pause the Adverse Effect Wage Rate, which is used to set H-2A pay, at 2023 levels.

The Senators say Congress is threatening the domestic food supply with the unsustainable policies and lack of action.

A bipartisan letter signed by 27 House members is also asking appropriation leaders to include a wage freeze as part of spending bills.

Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow’s staff confirms with Brownfield she and fellow Senate Ag Committee Democrat Michael Bennet of Colorado are planning to release new labor reform legislation next week which would cap the Adverse Effect Wage Rate.

AUDIO: Senator Mike Braun

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