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House Meets At: First Vote Predicted: Last Vote Predicted:

9:00 a.m.: Legislative Business

Five “One Minutes” per side
11:00 – 11:30 a.m. 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

H.R. 6429 – STEM Jobs Act (Rep. Smith (TX) – Judiciary) (90 minutes of Debate) H.R. 6429 creates a new STEM Visa program under which foreign students who earn advanced degrees in computer sciences, engineering and mathematics at U.S. colleges and universities could remain in the United States to work in those fields. The measure provides 55,000 visas, but does so by eliminating the existing Diversity Visa program and reallocating the visas currently allotted for the diversity program. Unused visas in any one year would be carried over into the next year, through FY 2016.

On September 20th, the House considered a similar version of this measure under suspension of the rules. The final vote was 257-158. The bill failed to reach the two-thirds majority required for passage under suspension. 

There is a new and fundamentally flawed provision in the bill that modifies the existing V-Visa program, which provides a path to legal status to the spouse and children of legal residents. This provision appears to provide relief to certain family members, but in fact it is inadequate inasmuch as it does not include a work authorization component, an essential element of family immigration.  Though the original version of the bill did not include any provision addressing the families of STEM graduates, H.R. 6429 still does nothing to make progress towards comprehensive immigration reform.

The Rule for H.R. 6429 was adopted yesterday. In order to account for a budgetary problem in this version of the STEM Visa bill, the Republicans put forth a last second Manager’s Amendment, which was self executed in the Rule. This amendment changes the effective date of the bill to FY2014 and would extend by one year existing requirements that Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration increase their fees for guaranteeing mortgage loans.

Bill Text for H.R. 6429:
PDF Version

The Daily Quote

“Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge is continuing to lose support from Republican lawmakers as the deadline for a ‘fiscal cliff’ deal looms. Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa) ‘knows that all options are on the table in the negotiations taking place,’ his chief of staff told the Des Moines Register. Nebraska Republican Reps. Jeff Fortenberry, Adrian Smith, Lee Terry, along with Sens. Mike Johanns (R) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) all say they are not bound by the pledge to reject a deal that raise revenues… Rep. Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.), who signed the pledge last year, told the Oneonta Daily Star that he does not envision signing pledges anymore. ‘I have a record that I’m proud to run on that’s pro-growth,’ he said.”

-    Washington Post 11/29/12