Labor Dept. Drops New Child Labor Limits

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The Labor Department has withdrawn a proposed rule that would have cut back on the work children would be allowed to do on farms.

The decision comes after the plan came under heavy fire from supporters of farming in Congress and the private sector.

The 85-page proposal would have forbidden kids under 16 from working with most power-driven machinery, grain storage, many types of livestock work, and more.

Critics, concerned with the effect the proposed changes would have on small family-owned farms, called the limits "absurd" and another instance of overreach by a federal government that's gotten too big.  

"It's good the Labor Department rethought the ridiculous regulations it was going to stick on farmers and their families," Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said.

"To even propose such regulations defies common sense, and shows a real lack of understanding as to how the family farm works," he added.

The White House says it's committed to listening to what Americans have to say about proposed rules and regulations.

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