Congressman Darrell Issa (CA-49) released the following statement on today's vote on H.R. 6429 -- the STEM Jobs Act which fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to pass the bill under suspension of the rules in a vote of 257-158. This bill eliminates the diversity visa lottery system and reallocates 55,000 visas available to foreign students receiving advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in the United States.
"Many of the world's top students come to the United States to obtain advanced degrees from some of the best universities and colleges in the world," Issa said. "Instead of encouraging these highly skilled, foreign students to stay in America, current law forces these highly qualified individuals to return home, or to third-party countries where they become innovators and entrepreneurs creating prosperity and capital for America's competitors."
"America cannot afford to continue to educate these students then send them back to our global competitors upon completion of their degree. It's a shame that partisan politics has, once again, stood in the way of generating jobs, boosting the economy and increasing American competitiveness. It is my hope that Congress can set aside party politics and work together towards real STEM immigration reform so that we may stop sending these bright, foreign students to our competitors overseas."
The STEM Jobs Act builds off visa reform legislation Issa reintroduced in January 2011 to increase America's competitors. Rep. Issa is an original cosponsor of H.R. 6429. Click here for Rep. Issa's speech on the House floor in support of H.R. 6429.