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Obama administration: Nevermind about that ‘applying child labor laws to kids on family farms’ thing

By Doug Powers  •  April 27, 2012 10:14 AM

**Written by Doug Powers

The Department of Labor cites “public outcry,” but “election year PR disaster” better sums up the reason for this walk back:

Under pressure from farming advocates in rural communities, and following a report by The Daily Caller, the Obama administration withdrew a proposed rule Thursday that would have applied child labor laws to family farms.

Critics complained that the regulation would have drastically changed the extent to which children could work on farms owned by family members. The U.S. Department of Labor cited public outcry as the reason for withdrawing the rule.

“The decision to withdraw this rule — including provisions to define the ‘parental exemption’ — was made in response to thousands of comments expressing concerns about the effect of the proposed rules on small family-owned farms,” the Department said in a press release Thursday evening. “To be clear, this regulation will not be pursued for the duration of the Obama administration.”

Rest assured, if Obama is re-elected the Labor Department will be back next year or the year after, because they’ll have more of that infamous flexibility.

Also, the original regulation would have revoked “government’s approval of safety training and certification taught by independent groups like 4-H and FFA, replacing them instead with a 90-hour federal government training course.” What could possibly go wrong if DC bureaucrats took over farm equipment training? Let’s vote on it with a show of hand.

Here’s one reason given for the administration backing off their proposed regulation:

In nixing the proposal, the Labor Department cited the need to protect “the rural way of life.”

Funny how the same agency that put forth the intrusive regulations then attempts to set themselves up as guardians of freedom and tradition for withdrawing their own proposal. What would we do if the Department of Labor wasn’t there to protect us from the Department of Labor?

They’ll be back. They didn’t establish a “rural council” for nothing.


The Department of Labor’s proposed regulations were aimed at protecting minors from injury while performing certain farm chores, such as unlawful under-age Equus ferus caballus nutrition dispersal and dietetic transportation unit sanitization (above), known to the layman as “feeding a horse and washing the bucket”

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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