Sen. John Thune (R-SD) and Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) are not happy with the Department of Labor. And on Wednesday, they let it be known by introducing legislation to keep the department in check.
The pair introduced what a press release calls "common sense legislation." It's a bill called the Preserving America’s Family Farm Act and it's aimed at preventing the Department of Labor (DOL) from passing regulations that limit the ability of children to work on family farms and ranches.
In the press release, Thune and Moran give some background:
Last year, DOL Secretary Hilda Solis proposed rules that would restrict family farm operations by prohibiting youth under the age of 18 from being near certain age animals without adult supervision, participating in common livestock practices such as vaccinating and hoof trimming, and handling most animals more than six months old, which would severely limit participation in 4-H and FFA activities and restrict their youth farm safety classes; operating farm machinery over 20 PTO horsepower; completing tasks at elevations over six feet high; and working at stockyards and grain and feed facilities. The language of the proposed rule is so specific it would even ban youth from operating a battery powered screwdriver or a pressurized garden hose. [Emphasis added]
“The Department of Labor has proposed 85 pages of unreasonable and overreaching rules that would unnecessarily restrict the participation of young people in agriculture related activities,” said Thune. “...This is another example of the Obama administration initiating unsolicited regulations that would prohibit normal practices that have been carried out in rural areas for generations—not to mention limiting a desperately needed workforce to replace the current generation of farmers whose average age is nearing 60 years old.”
“There is no better example of the vast overreach of government into the everyday lives of Americans than the Department of Labor’s proposed rule to regulate young people working on farms and ranches,” Sen. Moran said. “... This proposal should alarm more than just rural America. If the federal government can regulate the relationship between parents and their children on their own family’s farm, there is virtually nothing off limits when it comes to government intrusion into our lives.”
Back in February, Thune delivered a passionate speech on the Senate floor, asking out loud "What were these people thinking?":
(H/T: Gateway Pundit)