House Vote on Guest Worker Bill in Doubt

Dan Industry News Release, Labor and Immigration

House Republican leaders appear to be going back on a promise to hold a vote ahead of the August recess on a conservative immigration bill that includes a new guest-worker program for farmers. Back in June, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy promised several members there would be a vote.

housePolitico says House Republican leaders now don’t have any plans to take up the guest-worker program before the upcoming summer break. Sources tell Politico that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan doesn’t want to call a bill to the floor that might fail.

Dennis Ross, a Florida Republican, says the deal was that the bill would be taken up regardless. “A lack of sufficient votes to pass shouldn’t preclude the promised vote,” Ross says. “Some of us need to go back home and show that we’re doing all we can to do what we said we would do.” Ross says if the bill fails, it fails.

More than 200 Ag groups support the bill, including the American Farm Bureau Federation.

A McCarthy spokesman says they have every intention of voting on the bill. But “more work needs to be done in order to gather the support necessary to pass the legislation.”

From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.