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Ranking Member Cassidy, Hyde-Smith, Colleagues Urge Biden Administration to Extend Comment Period for New H-2A Regulations

WASHINGTON – Today U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), and 26 senators urged the Department of Labor (DOL) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to extend the public comment period on the departments’ new H-2A regulations and allow stakeholders an additional 60 days to provide feedback. 

Given the major impacts these policies could have on the nation’s agricultural sector, the senators emphasized the need for a 60-day comment period extension so farmers, ranchers, and other stakeholders can adequately provide input before the rules are finalized.

“The United States takes pride in producing the world’s safest, most abundant, and most affordable food supply. Our nation’s ability to do so is entirely contingent on the strength of our agricultural workforce. The H-2A program provides a critical labor pool without which many producers in our states would struggle or be entirely unable to operate,” wrote the senators.

“Any proposed regulatory changes to the H-2A program have potential ramifications for the entire American agricultural supply chain and food security. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that our constituents be provided adequate time to thoroughly analyze this proposed rule and its effects on their operations. Moreover, this comment period is occurring while many producers in our states will be occupied with fall harvest and unable to dedicate time to developing meaningful comments,” continued the senators.

Cassidy and Hyde-Smith are joined by U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Mike Crapo (R-ID), John Thune (R-SD), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), James Risch (R-ID), John Boozman (R-AR), John Hoeven (R-ND), Tim Scott (R-SC), Angus King, Jr. (I-ME), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Deb Fischer (R-NE), James Lankford (R-OK), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Joni Ernst (R-IA), John Kennedy (R-LA), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Mike Braun (R-IN), Rick Scott (R-FL), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-KS), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Ted Budd (R-NC), Katie Britt (R-AL), and Pete Ricketts (R-NE).

Read the full letter to Acting Secretary Julie Su here and the full letter to Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas here


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