Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at 1:59 PMA few minutes ago, the House Appropriations Committee adopted by voice vote an amendment offered by Reps. Pingree (D-ME), Harris (R-MD), and Ruppersburger (D-MD) related to the H-2B cap.
John Ariale | Principal
HUSCH BLACKWELL STRATEGIES
This amendment is similar to the language in current law that states that DHS may allow additional visas if the needs of seasonal businesses cannot be filled with US workers, but changes the word “may” to “shall.” Pingree's amendment – which will be included in the final bill once adopted by the Full Committee later today - requires DHS to release up to 69,320 additional H-2B visas in FY2020 if the demand exceeds the current supply of 66,000. This word change removes the discretion for releasing additional visas away from DHS.
In addition to the amendment sponsors, Ranking Member Granger (R-TX), Subcommittee Ranking Member Fleischmann (R-TX) and Rep. Rutherford (R-FL) all expressed support for the amendment. Subcommittee Ranking Member Roybal-Allard opposed the amendment. Rep. Fortenberry (R-NE) said he was not taking a position on the amendment but cautioned against foreign workers taking away jobs from America's youth.
Thanks to everyone who weighed in with their Members of Congress who serve on the Appropriations Committee. This vote is a significant victory. As you know, there are many steps in the annual appropriations process, but getting positive H-2B language in the House bill is a significant first step. In addition to working on the annual spending process, we are working with Congress on a long-term solution to address the H-2B cap.