U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor/HHS), today during full committee consideration of the FY 2013 Labor/HHS appropriations bill offered an amendment to prohibit funding for two Department of Labor (DOL) rules that, if implemented, would crush U.S. businesses that rely heavily on temporary, seasonal immigrant workers. The amendment passed by a vote of 19-11.
Below are excerpts from Shelby's statement on the amendment, the full text of which is attached. Also attached is the full text of Shelby's amendment as well as his broader statement on the full Labor/HHS bill and several letters of support for the amendment.
"Many industries, including those in seafood, timber, and landscaping, depend on the Department of Labor's H-2B visa program to find temporary, seasonal workers. The seasonal nature of these industries means that these businesses routinely face shortages of local workers during their peak season. The H-2B program not only keeps these businesses open, but also contributes to the creation of additional, year-round jobs for local workers by ensuring a successful operation.
"However, under the new rules proposed by the Department of Labor, many small businesses that use the H-2B program will not be able to afford these regulations and will ultimately close. This will result in more American job losses, at a time when our economy cannot afford it.
"This is another case of out-of-touch Washington bureaucrats sitting behind a desk implementing regulations that are prohibitively expensive and logistically impossible."