U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) today praised the Obama administration's decision to withdraw its proposed labor rule that would prevent youth from working on their families' farms.
To put this rule in context, 99 percent of Pennsylvania's farms are family owned and operated, and this new rule would impede their ability to operate. Sen. Toomey highlighted the impact this onerous rule would have on families during a press conference at the Pennsylvania Farm Show in January and in an Ag Day op-ed in the Patriot-News.
"We can all agree to disagree on the degree to which the federal government chooses to regulate our roads and waterways, but the federal government has no business dictating to parents how to raise their children. It belies an ideology that not only believes in an ever larger government, but an ideology that says government always knows best - even when it comes to our own families. I am glad the agency is withdrawing its proposed regulation amid this bipartisan uproar," Sen. Toomey said.
Last year, U.S. Labor Department Secretary Hilda Solis proposed a rule that would restrict family farm operations by prohibiting children and teens younger than 18 from participating in common livestock practices such as vaccinating, branding and shoeing. It would also ban children and teens from handling most animals more than six months old, which would severely limit participation in 4-H and FFA activities and restrict their youth farm safety classes.
Sen. Toomey is a co-sponsor of S. 2221, the Preserving America's Family Farm Act, which would prevent this onerous rule from being implemented. The Preserving America's Family Farm Act, introduced by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), has 43 additional co-sponsors, including five Democrats.