The House of Representatives today failed to approve H.R. 6429, the STEM Jobs Act of 2012, cosponsored byIdaho First District Congressman Raúl Labrador. Although the bill received more than the majority of the votes cast, including the support of 30 Democrats, a two-thirds majority was required for passage. The legislation would eliminate layers of bureaucracy in the visa process so that legal foreign students with advanced degrees from American universities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields could accelerate their transition into the American workforce when offered jobs from U.S. employers in high-tech fields.
"Of course I am disappointed that the STEM Jobs Act isn't moving forward right now but I believe Congress and the American public know this is good reform," Labrador said. "The bill had bipartisan co-sponsorship and Democrat support. Studies show 76 percent of Americans support this type of reform. Unfortunately, a majority of Democrats chose politics over good policy and rejected the bill and the economic growth it would foster in our country. We have started a dialogue about real reform and today was not the end of the STEM Jobs Act. A majority of Congress did vote in favor of the bill and I'm confident that we can gain more support as we continue to work for significant immigration reform."
House Majority Floor Leader Eric Cantor (VA-07) spoke in support of the Act during debate on the House floor and praised Labrador's work on the legislation:
"This legislation provides students with the opportunity to stay here in the U.S. where they can contribute to the American economy, rather than leaving for other countries and taking their venture capital with them to compete against America and our businesses. I would also like to note that Congressman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia and Congressman Raúl Labrador from Idaho have been instrumental in getting us here."