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Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend for yielding me time.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by thanking the gentleman from Wisconsin (Chairman Sensenbrenner) for his help and cooperation and that of his very fine staff; the ranking member, the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Conyers), and his fine staff; and my friend, the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson-Lee), for her help and support. Most especially I would like to say to my coauthor, the gentleman from Utah (Mr. Cannon), it has been a pleasure to work with him on a commonsense approach to solving a problem that is a wave of the present.
The law dates back 16 years, but the technology is changing every minute. What seems to be a simple change in this bill I think will have a profoundly positive effect on businesses, small and large, around the country.
As we have an increasingly diverse workforce with people from all over the world enriching our economy and our country, that workforce carries with it the responsibility to maintain records on the legal status of various workers. The maintenance of those records is burdensome, expensive and done in an ungainly way, an unseemly way in some cases, under present law.
The purpose of our bill is to make it much more simple. We say to employers that at their option they may retrieve these documents and create these documents and store these documents on electronic records rather than paper records. It is a small improvement for business, but I think it is a significant improvement that will make the records more accurate, more accessible, less burdensome to maintain and less expensive to maintain. This is how business ought to be done here.
I again thank the gentleman from Utah (Mr. Cannon) for his leadership on this and all others on both sides of the aisle. I would urge our colleagues, both Republican and Democrat, to vote ``yes.''
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