Edited Press Release
The U.S. House Appropriations Committee is scheduled to consider the fiscal year 2022 Department of Labor Appropriations bill Thurs., July 15, and language within the bill could devastate the H-2B visa program. The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) is urging industry members to contact their Representative immediately and ask for this language to be removed from the bill.
The language of concern appears on pages 46-50 of the bill and would make the H-2B visa program difficult for many employers to use. Specifically, the draft bill would:
- Prohibit industries from using the H-2B program if they experienced unemployment in any of the previous 12 months over 10 percent;
- Prohibit construction industries from using the program even in seasonal locations or occupations;
- Increase the baseline for wages to at least 150% of the federal or state minimum wage, whichever is higher;
- Require wage compliance with a collaborative bargaining agreement for your industry in your area, even if you are not a party to the agreement;
- Ban participation in the program for labor/workforce related infractions outside of the scope of the H-2B program.
“This appropriations bill contains alarming language for any business or industry that relies on the H-2B visa program to operate,” said NTRA president and CEO Alex Waldrop. “We ask trainers and others in horse racing to contact their Representative today to help get this language removed.”
As suggested by the H-2B Workforce Coalition, of which the NTRA is a member, industry members are encouraged to speak with their representatives and ask that their party leadership delete Sections 116, 117 and 118 of the of Fiscal Year 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee Appropriations Bill before the legislation is considered by the Appropriations Committee Thursday. The Capitol switchboard may be reached at (202) 225-3121. Emails can also be sent to representatives via this link.