Shockers of all shockers, the Sanders-Grassley amendment survived the corporate lobbyists and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce! Senator Sanders press release:
The proposal by Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) was added to the economic recovery package in the Senate. A conference committee retained the provision in the version of the bill that is expected to win final congressional approval later today.
An investigation by The Associated Press found that a dozen banks now receiving more than $150 billion in bailouts requested visas for more than 21,800 foreign workers over the past six years to replace laid-off American employees. The same banks announced at least 100,000 job cuts in recent months.
The measure would require the bailed-out banks to hire only Americans for two years, unless they could prove they were not replacing laid-off Americans with guest workers. Because the banks have announced mass layoffs, the measure would effectively place a moratorium on the H-1B visa program.
“With thousands of financial services workers unemployed, it is absurd for banks to claim they can’t find qualified American workers,” Sanders said.
“While we are suffering through the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, the very least we can do is to make sure that banks receiving a taxpayer bailout are not allowed to import cheaper labor from overseas while they are throwing American workers out on the street.”
In addition to banks, the Sanders-Grassley provision also restricts the hiring of guest workers at any other firms that receive funds under the Troubled Asset Relief Program or from emergency loans made by the Federal Reserve.
Bear in mind this amendment will have little effect and the United States really needs to pass the H-1B and L-1 reforms in last years S.1035 legislation. But still this is a major win for anything, no matter how small that corporate lobbyists do not like is normally stripped from the bills after it passes when dealing with global labor arbitrage.
E-verify, the key component to ensure Stimulus jobs are going to Americans is still stripped from the bill. That's pretty incredibly considering the unemployment rate, or are skilled construction jobs still the jobs Americans won't do?
Original blog post below:
Who runs the country? Corporate lobbyists do. Who does their bidding? Congressional leadership.
I'm sorry but as usual in the conference measures overwhelmingly popular with the American people and had passed were ripped out of the Stimulus bill.
After a bill passes both houses, it goes to conference to work out the differences. This is where corporate lobbyists sweep in and demand the legislation they want instead of what actually passed.
Now they are doing it with the Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009, otherwise known as the Stimulus bill.
A Sanders-Grassley amendment to demand TARP recipient banks stop firing U.S. workers and replacing them with foreign guest workers was ripped out of the bill.
From the original Associated Press investigation:
Major U.S. banks sought government permission to bring thousands of foreign workers into the country for high-paying jobs even as the system was melting down last year and Americans were getting laid off, according to an Associated Press review of visa applications.
The Sanders-Grassley amendment was passed by unanimous voice vote in the Senate.
Rightly so, who can argue our taxpayer money shouldn't be used to fire Americans and replace them with cheaper foreign guest workers.
Indeed, any legislation Congress passes, such as a minor amendment by Senator Bernie Sanders to increase guest worker processing fees to fund scholarships, is ripped out of the bill after it passes.
What kind of government allows corporate lobbyists to rewrite bills after they pass Congress?
Also removed from the Stimulus bill was any system to verify workers hired are legal. This is for all of those taxpayer money generated jobs. Yet they cannot verify that the jobs are actually going to U.S. citizens, legal residents? Nope, they ripped out e-verify from the bill. Do you want to fund Mexican jobs program while you are desperate, completely broke and cannot get a job? I didn't think so.
Shouldn't U.S. taxpayer generated jobs go to U.S. citizens, Americans? Why would Congress enable more global labor arbitrage when it's quite clear hollowing out the United States middle class is one of the main reasons the United States is at the precipice of Economic Armageddon.