Update on H-2B 9-14-18 Email
Written by Cherie Courtade   
Friday, September 14, 2018 12:00 AM

The H-2B Workforce Coalition issued the following update last night, September 13:

This evening the Appropriations Committees filed the conference agreement on the FY 19 Labor-HHS and Department of Defense “minibus” appropriations bill. It also includes a continuing resolution to maintain funding for the Department of Homeland Security and other federal Departments through December 7, 2018. We will keep you updated on the timing of House and Senate votes on the measure, but no votes are expected until next week.

Congress will not take up an FY 2019 funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security until after the November elections. As you know, the DHS funding bill passed by the House Appropriations Committee in July would exempt returning workers from the annual H-2B visa cap, reallocate the capped 66,000 visas on a quarterly basis to ensure that employers with late seasons are not shut out of the program and allow for visas to be appropriated on a proportional basis to ensure that all qualifying employers receive at least a percentage of needed H-2B workers. The report that accompanies the Senate Appropriations Committee-passed version of FY 2019 DHS funding bill asks DHS to consider a more equitable annual allocation of the 66,000 visas. The H-2B Workforce Coalition continues to urge Congress to include the House cap relief language in a final appropriations bill.

The conference report that was filed tonight would continue the Department of Labor (DOL) H-2B provisions that have been included in past funding bills. Specifically, the bill would continue the provisions from last year's Omnibus Appropriations law that limit the ability of the Administration to enforce the corresponding employment and 3/4 guarantee provisions of the 2015 regulations, allow for the use of private wage surveys, provide for a 10-month season and allow for staggered crossing for seafood workers.

The text of the bill can be found at:  https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Defense%20LHHS%20Minibus%20FY19.pdf.

The H-2B provisions can be found on pages 41-43.

We will let you know when Congress votes on this legislation and continue to keep you updated.

Your H-2B Workforce Coalition Co-Chairs

Laurie Flanagan, representing AmericanHort and the National Association of Landscape Professionals

Brian Crawford, American Hotel and Lodging Association

Gregg Hartley, representing the Outdoor Amusement Business Association