CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Tuesday, July 24, 2012, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 4157, the Preserving America's Family Farms Act, under a suspension of the rules requiring a two-thirds majority vote for approval. The bill was introduced on March 7, 2012, by Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA) and referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
H.R. 4157 would prohibit the Secretary of Labor from finalizing or enforcing the proposed rule entitled, “Child Labor Regulations, Orders and Statements of Interpretation; Child Labor Violations—Civil Money Penalties.”
The bill would include the following findings:
According to the sponsor’s office, the bill would block “recent attempts by the Department of Labor, with moral support from the Department of Agriculture, to increase federal regulatory involvement into family farms that risk outlawing farm youth from working on their family-owned farms.
“Historically, family farms have been exempted from child labor rules, but concerns have arisen that a proposal from the Department of Labor could jeopardize that exclusion for operations that are partly owned by extended family members such as grandparents, aunts or uncles. Such practices occur often in modern agriculture as families employ a variety of legal structures to remain financially viable.
“The Department of Labor’s proposed regulation also would eliminate a pair of certification programs that allow student learners to perform certain kinds of farm work, such as the operation of tractors. The proposed elimination of the certification programs has drawn opposition from farm youth groups like FFA and 4-H.”
A CBO cost estimate was not available at press time.