WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman David Rouzer (NC-07) joined 74 of his colleagues on a bipartisan letter encouraging House and Senate appropriations leaders to include an H-2A visa guestworker wage freeze in upcoming government funding legislation.
In a letter to House and Senate Appropriations Committee Leadership, the Members wrote, “We write with shared concerns regarding the annual adjustment to the Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR). Now in 2024, the H-2A labor rates paid by agricultural employers have become more unaffordable. The new rates put further financial strain on farm operations of all sizes, and we urge you to include an H-2A wage freeze in upcoming funding legislation. For farmers and ranchers who use H-2A, the skyrocketing AEWR will only compound inflated input costs like energy and fertilizer, other guest worker expenses like transportation and housing, and burdens from several impending federal regulations and fees.”
The Members further emphasized, “While more permanent solutions are needed to address the AEWR’s past impact and its future trajectory, we request that an upcoming government funding vehicle prohibit funds from being used to implement a wage increase or otherwise freeze the H-2A wage rates at January 2023 levels. Thank you for your attention to this important matter.”
As a Member of the House Agriculture Committee’s Agricultural Labor Working Group, Congressman Rouzer has been working alongside stakeholders, employers, and workers to identify and address the complexities and burdens facing the nation’s agriculture workforce to ensure our producers have the support they need to continue to feed America and the world.
Read the full letter here.