The Advocate is a weekly publication about federal, state, and local public policy issues that is free to NALP members.
NALP Hosting November 13th H-2B Fly-in with AmericanHort and SEA
NALP is hosting a fly-in on November 13th in conjunction with AmericanHort and the Seasonal Employment Alliance to push for much needed H-2B cap relief in 2020. The timing could not be more ideal, the continuing resolution which is temporarily funding the government is set to expire on November 21st and right now we have nothing more than 66,000 H-2B visas for FY20. We have an opportunity to push positive H-2B language in FY20 spending measures that would save seasonal businesses that desperately need workers. BUT time is of the essence and we need to put the pressure on our elected officials to support the H-2B program while critical funding measures are negotiated to keep the government open and funded through 2020.
NALP, AmericanHort and SEA invite all attendees to join us for breakfast on the morning of the 13th in the Rayburn House Office Building (room 2060). We will provide a briefing and distribute materials for your meetings. There is no fee associated with this event but we need all attendees to register so that we can appropriately schedule your meetings and align you with other passionate seasonal employees in your state.
All seasonal employers and members of the H-2B Coalition are welcome!
NALP Attends Pollinator Conference
This week, NALP attended the 19th Annual North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC) International Conference. The meeting included representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, pesticide industry, bee keepers, grower organizations and other stakeholders. Conference speakers discussed the latest pollinator research and provided updates on a host of conservation projects. The conference provided an opportunity to network with diverse groups and discuss NALP’s pollinator stewardship efforts. NAPPC is a growing, collaborative body of more than 170 diverse partners, including respected scientists, researchers, conservationists, government officials and dedicated volunteers.
Update on Congressional Appropriations Process; H-2B Provisions
The Senate finally kicked off full chamber consideration of its first set of fiscal year (FY) 2020 spending bills this week as the November 21 deadline to fund the government quickly approaches. On Tuesday, the chamber voted 92-2 to begin debate on a four-bill spending package to fund the departments of Agriculture, Transportation, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Interior, Justice, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The chamber will likely begin consideration of amendments sometime next week.
The generally slow pace of proceedings led Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) to predict this week that “Unless a miracle happens around here with the House and the Senate, we will have to come forward with another” continuing resolution to keep the government open past the 21st.
NALP met with several offices of appropriators this week and confirmed the need to apply pressure to keep language that has already been included in the House Department of Homeland Security Appropriations and the House Department of Labor. These provisions would require the DHS to release additional H-2B visas when a bona fide need exceeds the statutory limit and would change the allocation of H-2B visas to quarterly and be done in a proportional manner. These provisions are not in the Senate measures due to procedural disagreements concerning authorizing language on Appropriations measures.
While a short-term CR may occur into December applying pressure now to make this a bi-partisan issue makes our chances of inclusion during the conference process much greater. Please join us on November 13th. If you cannot join us on the 13th please stay tuned for grassroots opportunities via emails and phone in the coming weeks. If you would like more information on how you can help please contact Andrew Bray.
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