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Overtime with Mike Adams

RSS By: Mike Adams, AgWeb.com

The AgriTalk broadcast is done for today, but the conversation continues. AgriTalk host Mike Adams shares his thoughts and opinions on the news of the week and invites your feedback.

Farm Worker Deal to Test Ag's Clout

Apr 15, 2013

When Congress failed last year to pass a farm bill it led some(including Secretary of Agriculture) to question agriculture’s influence.  While others disagreed it is a fair question to ask.  Passage of a farm bill in the full Senate and the House Agriculture committee wasn’t enough to even get the bill to the House floor for a vote.  As we wait to see what happens with the farm bill this year we have another test case that may help answer the question on agriculture’s influence.  A group of Senators has reached an agreement on a framework for a farm worker program that would be part of a comprehensive immigration reform bill.  All of the details haven’t been worked out but the proposal would provide a path to legal status for undocumented workers and set a cap of 112,000 3 year visas each year while setting a formula by which wages would increase each year with a cap and floor.  Several ag and labor groups are supporting the proposal as a way to keep and attract much needed farm workers.  It remains to be seen if the farm worker proposal will be part of a comprehensive plan or a separate bill.  The bigger question is whether agriculture still has the clout to influence the outcome of such a politically sensitive issue or will agriculture’s interests be ignored.  The answer may be an indication of things to come.

 

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