04.25.17

Daines Meets with Labor Secretary Nominee Acosta

U.S. SENATE —U.S. Senator Steve Daines today released the following statement after meeting with President Donald J. Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Secretary of Labor, Alexander Acosta.

“Alexander Acosta will be a champion for the American worker,” Daines stated. “Montanans deserve a system with financial investment rules that encourage savings, optimize investment choices and increase access to investment advice. Mr. Acosta will be an advocate for providing regulatory relief for Montana small businesses to help them thrive while ensuring that employees are protected.”

Acosta

During the meeting, Daines hand delivered a letter outlining Montana priorities to Acosta.

Dear Mr. Acosta: 

Congratulations on being nominated as the next Secretary of the United States Department of Labor (DOL). I look forward to working with you to ensure that workers in Montana and across the country have the support and protections they deserve while providing small businesses with relief from undue and burdensome regulations.

As you well know, guest worker visa programs can play an important role in meeting the demand for labor and are utilized by many farmers, ranchers, and employers across Montana. Ensuring that farmers, ranchers, and small businesses have sufficient access to labor, while prioritizing American workers and maintaining the integrity of immigration protocols, is of utmost importance. I have heard concerns from Montanans, particularly farmers and ranchers in the H-2A program, who have been harmed by impractical restrictions within that program. I urge you to increase efficiencies and flexibility within guest worker programs so that Montana farmers, ranchers, and small businesses can access thoroughly vetted guest workers when labor shortages exist.  

In addition, earlier this month, DOL finalized its rule to delay the fiduciary rule by 60-days in order to review and modify it. I am concerned that the original rule could have significant negative impacts on individuals with smaller investments by reducing access to quality financial advice and hindering Montanans’ ability to save for their retirement. I ask that you rescind or substantially revise this rule to allow financial advisors to better serve their clients and prepare individuals for sound retirements.

Further, the joint-employer rule is another example of a burdensome regulation that should be revised as it unnecessarily disrupted relationships between employers, vendors, franchisees, and staffing agencies. The increase in volatility in the labor market and uncertainty created by this rule has made it even more difficult to run a business and employ workers, and I urge to you take steps to mitigate and reverse the negative effects of this rule. 

Additionally, as you know, One-Stop Centers can play an important role in helping unemployed and underemployed workers find new jobs in their communities. These centers in Montana and across our country serve as an important resource for those seeking employment, training, and connections with local businesses. I encourage you to continue to actively partner with Montana businesses and communities to grow jobs and provide opportunities for those seeking employment and job training. 

I also would like to extend a formal invitation for you to join me in Montana during your time as Secretary of Labor. Congratulations again on your nomination, and I look forward to continuing to dialogue with you and your department on issues impacting Montana.  

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