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House Adopts Budget Bill Without H-1B and EB Visa Provisions

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 05121966 (posted Dec. 19, 2005)"

Early in the morning of December 19, the House adopted a conference report on the budget reconciliation bill (S. 1932) that did not include the Senate Judiciary Committee provisions that would have recaptured unused H-1B and employment-based visa numbers. The House was also forced to strip its proposal to impose a $1,500 fee increase on L visas from the final bill. Although we are very disappointed that Congress did not take affirmative action to ameliorate the crisis confronting American businesses and universities, at least the House was prevented from imposing the regressive tax on businesses using the L visas that it originally contemplated.

The Senate is scheduled to take up the conference report today, December 19, but Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) threatened on Sunday night to hold up all remaining Senate business in protest of the Republican leadership's attempt to attach Alaska drilling provisions to the defense appropriations bill. We will keep you updated on the budget reconciliation bill's progress in the Senate. If it passes without the provisions for H-1B blackout and retrogression relief, we will begin looking for new options to secure such relief in the new year.

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