WASHINGTON -- Late on Wednesday afternoon, the House Judiciary Committee approved H.R.4092, the Agricultural Guestworker Act (AG Act) on a close 17-16 vote. The Committee’s action is just the first step in what will be a long and important legislative process. Federal legislation is needed to fully address the labor crisis afflicting agriculture and horticulture in America. Chairman Bob Goodlatte and the Committee have tackled this challenge by drafting a bill that revamps the H-2A guest worker program, which he considers dysfunctional and difficult for the business owners who rely on it.
"It is a costly, time-consuming, and flawed program," Goodlatte said in a statement. "They must expend a great deal of time and money each season in order to prove to the federal government what nearly everybody already knows to be the case: legal, dependable domestic farm labor is very hard to find."