Issue Update 2/1/19

URGENT: Contact your House and Senator Member and urge them to support a fix to the H-2B guestworker visa program. To send a letter click here. Please note letters can be modified.

On Monday the partial federal government shutdown ended. Federal employees started the work week after sitting out of what became the longest government funding lapse on record. 

The temporary funding bill that passed expires on February 15 if an agreement is not reached. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations conference committee has set a goal to complete a DHS spending package by February 8. Conferees are listed below. If you have operations in any of the states and/or Congressional districts below please contact them and urge them to support an H-2B cap increase.

Senate Conferees:

  • Richard C. Shelby, R-Ala.;
  • Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.;
  • John Hoeven, R-N.D.;
  • Roy Blunt, R-Mo.;
  • Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt.;
  • Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill.; and
  • Jon Tester, D-Mont.

House Conferees:

  • Nita M. Lowey, D-N.Y-17;
  • Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif-40;
  • David E. Price, D-N.C.-4;
  • Barbara Lee, D-Calif.-13;
  • Henry Cuellar, D-Texas-28;
  • Pete Aguilar, D-Calif-31;
  • Kay Granger, R-Texas-12;
  • Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn.-3;
  • Tom Graves, R-Ga.14;
  • Steven M. Palazzo, R-Miss-4.

FRA and many allied organizations have been contacting legislators and leadership urging them to include a meaningful and permanent fix to the H-2B guest worker visa program. Proactive actions FRA has taken include:

  • Hill visits
  • Letter to House and Senate Leadership
  • Letters to DHS conference committee members
  • Action alert that will allow you to contact your Congressional Members.

Increasing the number of H-2B guestworker visas is critical to many businesses, and many Members are realizing this. As we reported last week nearly 130 Members in a bipartisan effort requested a permanent fix to the H-2B program in any DHS spending package.

This effort needs to continue. It’s important that you contact your Member and let them know the importance of increasing the number of H-2B visas means to the forest products industry supply chain.