Sarah Palin lashed out at the Obama Administration in a Facebook post on Wednesday, attacking regulations she says would ban children from working on family farms. Tapping into her Alaska roots and 4-H past, Palin called the rules a "nonsensical intrusion into our lives and livelihoods."
The Labor Department is working on new child labor laws to limit certain types of agricultural work, and Palin is not the first Republican to try to block the effort. Last month Republicans in both the House and Senate introduced bills that would preempt the regulations, and some Democrats in agricultural states have joined them.
A cornerstone of the opposition argument is Palin's notion that the laws would disrupt a rural way of life by preventing kids from helping out with family farm work. But as HuffPost's Dave Jamieson reported, the laws would only protect children from types of labor deemed too dangerous and would not apply to children working on family farms:
According to the Labor Department, the rules would prohibit kids from working in certain capacities for employers that aren't family. For instance, those under 16 could no longer handle tobacco crops, due to health concerns; drive tractors that don't come with rollover protections; or work inside grain silos and bins.
The proposed rules would not change a long-standing family-farm exemption that's been in place since 1966 and allows a child to do any kind of work on a farm owned by his or her parent, according to the Labor Department. Nor would it eliminate the 4-H programs that teach kids agricultural skills. Children 16 or older would still be allowed to work for any farmer in any capacity.
Palin's Facebook post follows:
The Obama Administration is working on regulations that would prevent children from working on our own family farms. This is more overreach of the federal government with many negative consequences. And if you think the government’s new regs will stop at family farms, think again.
My family is a commercial fishing family, and commercial fishing in Alaska is much like the family farm (but the year 'round farmers no doubt work harder than we do!). I guarantee fishing families wouldn’t stand for this nonsensical intrusion into our lives and livelihoods, and, as a former 4-H member, I don’t believe farm families will either. Our kids learn to work and to help feed America on our nation’s farms, and out on the water.
Federal government: get your own house in order and stop interfering in ours.
- Sarah Palin