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As Washington growers struggle with labor shortage vote in Congress on farmworker

first_imgA bill aimed at easing the nationwide shortage of farm labor that has led many Washington growers to lose money won’t get a summer vote in Congress.The House of Representatives legislation would make it easier for employers to bring in people from other countries for temporary agricultural work, offer legal status to undocumented farmworkers already living in the U.S., and require that employers use a system that confirms work eligibility.H.R. 6417 was hobbled by divisions nationally within the farm community over how to address the labor shortage. The House adjourned for the summer on July 26.The legislation has been closely monitored by Washington fruit growers, who have increasingly struggled to find the tens of thousands of workers they need to bring in the harvest.Rep. Dan Newhouse, R- Sunnyside, a bill co-sponsor, said in June he had a commitment from House leadership for a vote in July. When that didn’t happen, Newhouse said in a written statement that he would continue to push for a vote once the House reconvenes in September. But getting action on legislation this fall will likely prove difficult as the November election looms.last_img read more