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.
Do you have a source for this? I've heard this from one other place, but I'm looking for independent confirmation.
Don't even think about writing any of your open border stuff on here! ;)
I just called Sanders office and they do not know.
It's a heavy target for AILA, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, NASSCOM, ITAA, Compete America corporate lobbyist groups so they are after it.
Here is the thing on this amendment. It's a symbolic gesture. TARP are using 3rd party Indian body shops to insource those jobs as well as signed billion dollar contracts to offshore outsource them. So companies like Infosys, TCS, IBM (yes, they are in the labor arbitrage business!), WIPRO have contracts with these banks and thus the bill doesn't affect them because it only names the banks themselves.
It's incredible these corporate lobbyists...they do not care if something is a symbolic gesture or whatever, they are gunning for this amendment.
But I guess it was revived because so many Americans are calling in.
is the reason I'm skeptical about this - he was on the conference committee. How can he let his pet issue be stripped?
And give me some credit, I could've been an anonymous drive-by ;-).
a. he's a republican
b. he's a populist
c. corporate lobbyists have in place Nancy Pelosi/Harry Reid as well as a host of other Democrats.
Even when the GOP was in power it was the same thing, the corporate lobbyists control the leadership of Congress and Grassley on this issue went against those leaders many times. He lost.
It's bi-partisan corruption. It's absurd and these particular jobs are mainly I.T. level jobs.
are you busy writing hate crap about Americans being "anti-immigrant" and other such crud because I really don't want to assist you in information for those sorts of efforts of those thinking magically somehow they should get U.S. workers jobs like IV. What a hate site.
Boy I'm behind
Did caco write that here or elsewhere?
Maximum jobs, not maximum profits.
cacophonix is one of those guest workers (although he's the longer guest worker Visa holder in history! as he claims) who is a comment writer who blasts anything that puts U.S. workers preferred for jobs in their own country and so on..
although I believe he is more strongly interested in the green card backlog issue from India (there are per country quotas on lower skilled Visas and hence from some countries a big waiting list).
He would spam all my posts on dailykos along with (odds are) other Indians and Chinese who don't want U.S. citizens put first for their own interests (to be frank).
They have a case but if and only if they are going to really become Americans.
I won't name one group but it's incredible...constant hate against Americans, constant hate posts against U.S. workers and really racist, based on national origin type posts...
yet.....they want to become Americans. I've read through these thinking, uh, you want to become the thing you despise? What's that about?
That's the problem with this crap, you cannot gun for a green card, citizenship in one country while being loyal or consider yourself a citizen of another. But that reality often comes home to roost when someone on a green card or with new citizenship gets displaced....by offshore outsourcing or a guest worker...which has happened many times.
So, using temporary work visas as a way to immigrate...
there is a huge back log, but are most people truly immigrating, adopting a new country as their own....or are they using green cards as a business feature for the resume...i.e. I can move freely between two nations thus transfer technology to offshore outsource as well as lobby the United States on my home country's behalf...
Used to be
To even cross the border into the United States, one had to take an oath giving up loyalty to foreign princes.
I'd be willing to trade a instant-approval visa/green card system in return for *ONLY* immigrant visas and that oath of loyalty to the Constitution back.
As for the guest worker, visitor, and student visas- they only get the fruits of this country if they're planning on staying, otherwise 2 week limit.
Maximum jobs, not maximum profits.
planning on staying
Well, sometimes they have no choice...that's supposed to be the deal when economic times are tough, well, they are on temporary work and student visas and hence get last consideration since the United States is concerned about it's own citizens first (and this is true in any other country on Earth, they always put their own citizens first, it's part of the job of each national government) (except Burma).
and think about that...you've lived in another country for 6 years, 7 years and now you are kicked out. Now that sucks too.
I mean this is the human condition, we're not commodities to be moved to and fro, put on a shelf when not needed, shipped abroad ....
people are societies, cultural groups and get attached to places, other people...we are not mobile as much as corporations want everyone to believe we are...
all sorts of invisible strings bind us to the land, to families, to friends, to a way of life.....
But yes, it's clear green cards and citizenship are being viewed as simply a business strategy and in terms of cultural identity, national loyalty, "throwing in your lot" with one country....that is not happening.
but this is not always true....for instance we have many labor activists who came to the U.S. on work Visas and they are fighting for U.S. labor every day....so they have become Americans and are now fighting for U.S. workers...
so one cannot blanket assume things here.
Although I feel the United States has been sold as the "roads are paved with gold" overseas like a product, like Coca-cola or McDonalds....
they also did this in the 1820-1904...painted a fantasy land of wealth and riches to basically get their cheap labor supply to continue to flow.
Who said we had to compete like this in a global economic arena
President Obama Stimulus Package will not work. It ignores too many realities.
For the most part he left out Free Trade as a cause of the economic crisis. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said it all when he told Congress during the first stimulus package debate the best way to stimulate the economy is to buy "domestically produced goods". Of course this is an impossible task these days but until we bring back our production and restart small farms, the government could have spent some money on creating business to business mercantile centers in every major city and creating people to people buy and sell centers - perhaps in the format of upgraded bizarres etc. Just imagine what would happened if there was one in each city where there would be sales tax free days.
Our economies based on making money on money instead of making things are burning out.
The value of workers and labor which represent a real tangible value and asset and acts as a money standard has been severely deflated. This impacts the money products too.
The unemployment rate is a facade and notice the term underemployment has vanish from any discussion. Only about 38 percent of all workers qualify for unemployment insurance. You would think someone in the political arena would question what are all the other workers doing.
The payroll tax which is used in the general fund like all other taxes acts as a flat tax on workers and labor. It also represents a 15 percent overhead for businesses. It should be discontinued. Most of all our tax codes are obsolete due to Globalization and Free Trade. They act as reverse tariffs and the stimulus package actually is one too. See Taps instead of Taxes at http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Ray_Tapajna
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Well said. Everyone wants to dance around the fact that free trade is the root of our economic problems. The slow destruction of the middle class has been masked by a series of economic bubbles (tech, housing, financial services, etc) that have now burst. Protectionism has been made to be a dirty word (blamed falsly for the great depression), but is the only answer to getting our economy back up on its feet.
But should it be?
I'm willing to at least look at the question- does trade help or harm a post-industrial society? It's like a reverse ponzi scheme- the guys on top are the ones whom free trade benefits the least.
Maximum jobs, not maximum profits.
You can not put the cart before the horse to drive an economy
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress that the best way to stimulate the economy is to buy "domestically produced goods" during the first stimulus package debate about a year ago.
In Cleveland Ohio, the political leaders are still trying to put the cart before the horse to drive an economy. They added a sales tax to fund a medical-convention center. Note they did not tax the medical industry but chose to put a tax on commerce that pays workers who then pay taxes to fund projects like this. In essence, it acts as a tariff on commerce for the sake of a public project. $500 million - a half of billions dollars is the price tag.
It seems the public sector has forgotten what free enterprise is all about and that a horse is needed to pull the cart for an economy to prosper. The free enterpise system supports the public sector and it will never be the other way around. And in Cleveland, no one asked those who are paying the bill what would be the best way to build this medical center after they paid the extra toll on most things they purchased.
The free enterprise system is all about adding values in local, regional or balanced geopolitical settings. It is about local value added economies that can add value from the raw products levels up through several levels to the retail or end user level. A free enterprise system needs to be able to recyle the added values up and down the line. ( And it does not happened either when all the values are spread all over the world like it is now in a global economic arena. There is no such thing as perpetual motion, but political leaders keep trying to make it happen. The cart can not push the horse that drives an economy.
We fund sports stadiums and arenas for entertainment purposes and the money comes from the free enterprise system to fund these projects and fund the entertainment.
The same applys to public projects like a medical-convention center. Something has to happen first and the medical industry itself is highly dependent on taxes. It is noteworthy that no one asks the medical industry for funds. This is proof positive, that everyone knows how the medical industry depends on a tax base to do their thing in the first place. They are not self-sufficient and do not produce values in any direct way. The values are a fallout with a negative balance no matter what and when and value is applied to any free enterprise system.
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke says to shop for "domestically produced goods" as the best way to stimulate our economy. Just imagine if someone came into a city like Cleveland and asked for money to build a factory that produces the domestic goods. This would be putting the horse before the cart.
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Hmm. Sports stadiums and Big Box Stores. With all the tax subsidies involved, sounds a bit like corporate welfare.:-)
By the way, what does America still produce besides fast to be commoditized services?