House Republicans are challenging the Biden administration’s ‘crippling’ labor rule

EXCLUSIVE — A group of Republicans in the House of Representatives want to rein in a recent Biden administration rule that would finalize labor standards for American farm workers, arguing that the law would allow a loophole that would undermine private property rights violate.

The group, led by Rep. Scott Franklin (R-FL), is seeking to push back on the Department of Labor’s recently completed unionization rule, which would provide new protections for farmworkers that Republican lawmakers say will drive costs to those in the agricultural sector would increase. The bill would mainly target a provision in the 600-page rule that would give legal and union activists access to private farms and ranch properties.

“This new DOL rule is the latest crippling regulation the Biden administration has imposed on Florida growers. If implemented, it will have disastrous consequences for our agricultural sector,” said Franklin, a member of the House Appropriations Agriculture subcommittee. “Producers are already struggling to meet their labor needs and competing with supply from Mexico, which is not subject to the same restrictions. The federal government should work with industry to learn how to optimize the H-2A program for the benefit of both producers and farmworkers, not pursue burdensome mandates.”

The legislation would use the Congressional Review Act, an obscure procedure that allows lawmakers to overturn final rules issued by federal agencies. The method is rarely successful and has overturned only a handful of rules since it was introduced in 1996.

House Republicans have used the tool repeatedly under the Biden administration since gaining the majority last year, introducing more than half a dozen this Congress. President Joe Biden has vetoed more than nine rating agencies during his time in office, while signing three rules that were rescinded under his administration.

Franklin is using the CRA to challenge the provision allowing access to private property, arguing that it conflicts with a 2021 Supreme Court ruling that access to private property by third-party union organizers undermines private property rights threatens. That decision, Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassidpassed by a 6-3 majority.

The legislation has received support from 16 other Republicans in the House of Representatives, including Reps. John Moolenaar (R-MI), Carlos Gimenez (R-FL), John Rutherford (R-FL), Ben Cline (R-VA), Aaron Bean (R-FL), Neal Dunn (R-FL), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Dan Webster (R-FL), Jerry Carl (R-AL), Austin Scott (R-GA), Byron Donalds (R-FL) ), Clay Higgins (R-LA), Mark Amodei (R-NV), Dan Meuser (R-PA), Greg Steube (R-FL) and Andy Ogles (R-TN).

The bill has also received support from a handful of agricultural organizations, such as the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association, Florida Citrus Mutual and the Florida Strawberry Growers Association.


The Labor Department’s rule will go into effect June 28 and implement policies that allow temporary farm workers to join a union. The Biden administration touted the new rule as a way to ensure that “farmworkers working through the H-2A program are treated fairly, have a voice in their workplace, and can perform their jobs safely,” said Acting Julie Su labor secretary.

The Washington Examiner contacted the Department of Labor for comment on the proposed reversal.