The Federation of Employers and Workers of America (FEWA) has shared this important update.
Last month, the Appropriations Committees filed the conference agreement on the FY 19 Labor-HHS and Department of Defense “minibus” appropriations bill, which includes a continuing resolution (CR) to maintain funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other federal Departments through December 7, 2018.
What does this mean for H-2B?
The conference report that was filed would continue the Department of Labor (DOL) H-2B provisions that have been included in past funding bills. No immediate changes to the program.
Cap relief is not included in this “minibus” bill that is expected to be signed into law.
What does this mean for H-2B Cap Relief?
The CR for the DHS though December 7 is important, as it relieves the pressure of a governmental shutdown.
The DHS funding bill passed by the House Appropriations Committee in July would exempt returning workers from the annual H-2B visa cap, along with other adjustments. 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.
Congress will not take up an FY 2019 funding bill for DHS after the November 7 elections. THIS WILL BE OUR OPPORTUNITY FOR H-2B CAP RELIEF.
What can you do?
After this bill is signed into law, House members will be returning to their home districts to begin campaigning for election day. Meet with your representative at home and stress the importance the H-2B program has on your business and the need for immediate cap relief. View H-2B Cap Relief Talking Points.
After November 7 elections, Congress will return to DC, and within the first week concentrate on electing leadership roles. Once that is complete they will have until December 7 to negotiate the remaining bills to fund the government. THIS WILL BE OUR OPPORTUNITY FOR THE H-2B RETURNING WORKER EXEMPTION.
FEWA and the H-2B Workforce Coalition continue to urge Congress to include the House cap relief language in a final appropriations bill. FEWA’s Jarrod Sharp and Robin Svec will be in Washington, DC, later this month to further advocate for this language.
In addition to continuing to push for Congress to pass H-2B cap relief we will let you know when Congress votes on this legislation.