U.S. Chamber Letter on H.R. 3897, the "H-2B Returning Worker Exception Act of 2021"

Thursday, June 17, 2021 - 12:00pm

TO THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

          The U.S. Chamber of Commerce strongly supports H.R. 3897, the “H-2B Returning Worker Exception Act of 2021.” Members of Congress who cosponsor this bill will receive credit for the Leadership component of their “How They Voted” rating.

          This legislation proposes several key reforms to the H-2B temporary worker program.  Key among these changes is the exemption of returning H-2B workers from an antiquated and outdated annual quota.  Businesses across the U.S., especially small businesses, are struggling mightily to find workers.  This bill would help.  Instituting this critical reform would ensure that the many small and seasonal businesses across the country are able to adequately meet their workforce needs and fully contribute to America’s post-pandemic economic recovery.

          In addition, this bipartisan legislation would implement several improvements to the H-2B application process, including requiring the U.S. Department of Labor to maintain a publicly accessible online job registry and establishing a single digital platform for the many requests associated with the H-2B process.  These measures would significantly improve overall H-2B visa processing.  Finally, the legislation would establish new H-2B program integrity measures and anti-fraud provisions, which would further protect the interests of American workers and H-2B workers alike.

          The Chamber commends Rep. Henry Cuellar, the bill’s lead sponsor, and cosponsors Reps. David Joyce, Bill Keating, Steve Chabot, Chellie Pingree, and Andy Harris, for introducing this bill. We look forward to working with the House and Senate to ensure the H-2B Returning Worker Exception Act is signed into law.

Sincerely,

Neil L. Bradley