Issue Update

H-2C Update
Chairman Goodlatte (R-VA), Rep. Labrador (R-ID), Rep. McCaul (R-TX), Rep. McSally (R-AZ) introduced H.R.4760 - Securing America's Future Act of 2018.  While this legislation has a narrow scope of immigration, FRA has worked with those putting together legislation in the House, and we were able to make sure the Agricultural Guestworker Act was included.  We have previously highlighted this legislation but as of now it’s up to 77 co-sponsors in the house and we are continuing the effort to secure even more. Expect an Action Alert in the next week.
  • In H.R. 4760, SEC. 2102. H–2C TEMPORARY AGRICULTURAL WORK VISA PROGRAMA provision for “(E) forestry-related activities;” as it pertains to the new H-2C program. 
  • This would bring all of forestry under one classification, instead of dividing portions between H-2A and H-2B.

Infrastructure
This week the Administration leaked a document that describes in broad strokes its infrastructure policy plans.   The document (Linked Here) is short on specifics but does mention funding and investment in roads and bridges.  As you would expect, there is no mention of freight efficiency improvements such as truck weight reform, but we anticipate the release of a more robust proposal in the next couple of weeks.   The need for infrastructure investment has been a consistent theme of the Trump Administration, and we are encouraged that the process of enacting a needed infrastructure bill has begun.  FRA is looking opportunistically at this effort to secure favorable truck weight policy such as the Right to Haul Act.  

Farm Bill
The Administration also released broad policy principles that it will be supporting in the next Farm Bill which is now being drafted. Again there are few specifics but, one area that is noticeably absent, is any mention of energy programs. The Farm Bill has a robust energy title that authorizes and funds several programs that promote biomass energy. FRA has been working with the Forests in the Farm Bill coalition in promoting one energy title program that we think will help with the growing residuals problem that many of our sawmills are now encountering. We will be actively engaged this year in Farm Bill advocacy and will keep you apprised of our efforts.

https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2018-farm-bill-and-legislative-principles.pdf

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