As published in the Washington Examiner.

EXCLUSIVE — A group of House Republicans are looking to rein in a recent rule passed by the Biden administration that would finalize labor standards for U.S. farmworkers, arguing the law would allow for a loophole violating private property rights. 

The group, led by Rep. Scott Franklin (R-FL), is seeking to claw back the Labor Department’s recently finalized unionization rule that would implement new protections for farmworkers that GOP lawmakers argue would increase costs for those in the agriculture industry. Republicans have posed concerns with the 600-page rule, especially a provision that would allow for legal and labor union activists to gain access to private farm and ranch properties. 

“This new DOL rule is the latest crippling regulation hoisted on Florida growers by the Biden Administration. If implemented, it will have disastrous effects on our ag industry,” said Franklin, who sits on the House Appropriations Agriculture subcommittee. “Producers already struggle to meet their labor needs and compete with supply from Mexico, which is not subject to the same restrictions. The federal government should be engaging with industry to learn how to optimize the H-2A program to benefit both producers and farmworkers, not pursuing burdensome mandates.”

The legislation would utilize the Congressional Review Act, an obscure procedure that allows lawmakers to overturn final rules issued by federal agencies. The method is rarely successful, only overturning a handful of rules since its inception in 1996. 

House Republicans have repeatedly used the tool under the Biden administration since taking the majority last year, introducing more than a half dozen this Congress. President Joe Biden has vetoed more than nine CRAs while in office while signing into law three rules repealed under his administration. 

Franklin is using the CRA to challenge the provision allowing for access to private properties, arguing it violates a 2021 Supreme Court ruling that holds access to private properties by third-party union organizers threatens private property rights. That decision, Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid, passed with a 6-3 majority vote. 

The legislation has garnered support from 16 other House Republicans, including Reps. John Moolenaar (R-MI), Carlos Gimenez (R-FL), John Rutherford (R-FL), Ben Cline (R-VA), Aaron Bean (R-FL), Neal Dunn (R-FL), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Dan Webster (R-FL), Jerry Carl (R-AL), Austin Scott (R-GA), Byron Donalds (R-FL), Clay Higgins (R-LA), Mark Amodei (R-NV), Dan Meuser (R-PA), Greg Steube (R-FL), and Andy Ogles (R-TN).

The bill has also received support from a handful of agricultural organizations such as the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association, Florida Citrus Mutual, and the Florida Strawberry Growers Association.


The Labor Department rule is set to take effect on June 28, implementing policies that would allow temporary agricultural workers to unionize. The Biden administration praised the new rule as a way to ensure “farmworkers employed through the H-2A program are treated fairly, have a voice in their workplace and are able to perform their work safely,” said Julie Su, acting labor secretary. 

The Washington Examiner contacted the Labor Department for comment on the proposed reversal.