House Democratic leaders yesterday discussed key elements of a long-awaited lobbying reform bill, which has been seen as a signal test of Speaker Nancy Pelosi's pledge to bring unprecedented transparency to the Democratic-led institution.
While the legislation would open congressional lobbying to greater public scrutiny, its contours hint at a behind-the-scenes battle by the leadership to retain its most sweeping new measures.
The bill will be unveiled today at a Democratic caucus meeting, where more changes will be discussed. At the meeting last night, party leaders debated the proposal's three most important provisions, which appear headed for varying fates.
Watchdog groups and freshman members who rode into Congress on promises of ethics reform see as most critical a section imposing stricter reporting guidelines on the practice of "bundling," in which lobbyists gather and deliver bundles of contribution checks to a member. In an effort to prevent opponents of that measure from killing the entire bill, Democrats may address bundling in a separate bill or amendment, to be introduced in tandem with the main legislation.
The House bill is likely to drop a second key provision, requiring that lobbyists who orchestrate grass-roots letter-writing and telephoning campaigns disclose their involvement.
The third new element -- a "revolving door" measure doubling, to two years, the time members must wait after leaving Congress before lobbying former colleagues -- is expected to be included in the final bill.
Other provisions impose disclosure requirements on lobbyist-paid meetings and parties, contributions to charities, and other sponsored activities. Disclosure records would be posted online, in a searchable format.
The House Judiciary Committee is expected to formally draft the bill Thursday, with a vote anticipated before the Memorial Day recess.
"I believe that the voters are going to be watching carefully to see whether we address this issue," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), sponsor of the bundling measure. "We are letting our members know that this is an important issue for the Democratic agenda. . . . We're very focused on getting this done."
Sponsors and watchdogs had hoped the House lobbying reform bill would go further than the Senate's version, passed with great fanfare in the opening days of the new Congress. Instead, it appears to closely track the Senate bill, which also did not include restrictions on grass-roots lobbying. In recent weeks, according to several people close to the talks, the Senate had been pushing the House to narrow the bundling restrictions in its version, by limiting reporting requirements to clearly defined fundraising agreements between lobbyists and members. The House bill as discussed would do that.
Passage of a weaker bill -- chiefly, one without bundling rules -- would disappoint watchdogs, who have waged a lobbying campaign of their own for the new law.
"I am sensing a fading of enthusiasm for lobbying and ethics reform, which is why we have to get this done as soon as we can," said Craig Holman of advocacy group Public Citizen. "The longer we wait, the weaker this bill seems to get." Holman said he is lining up legislators to introduce, as amendments, any major portions of the lobbying bill eliminated in this week's discussions.
Democrats' promise to end the "culture of corruption" they said developed in Washington under Republican rule helped propel the party into the majority in November elections. They quickly tightened the rules over travel, meals and gifts from lobbyists, and improved disclosure rules for earmarks -- the pet projects that lawmakers tuck into legislation.
But a task force appointed by Pelosi (D-Calif.) to look into creating an independent entity to investigate ethics charges against lawmakers has missed its May 1 deadline for issuing recommendations, amid foot-dragging by members opposed to the idea.
House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) said the party's leadership considers ethics reform "an obligation."
"We as a party successfully talked about a culture of corruption, and one of the pledges we made was to change that," he said. To do so, he added, "you've got to change the laws, and people's attitudes."
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May god give this world the strength and courage to tackle Pakistan and its terrorist activities.
But if you ask me for some other cause where I am not affected. I will definitly help. You would be doing the same things if your were in my shoes. If not atleast thinking the same things.
So, you don't believe in helping others.
2011 images Newt Gingrich, with his
When you give reds, learn to read the whole post. I pointed out that since Op was gone, no one here was really filing a lawsuit but we were debating the issue. The thread may be about anything, so what? The discussion ahd turned to a personalized bashing of anyone that dared file for EB2.
Reading your posts I see that you got a red from someone, guess you decided to lash out in return. Fitting!
Dude, I did not personally bash anyone let alone give you a red dot, I was just putting forth my opinions which you and some of our ilk did not like which is fair enough.
You guys saying guys with Masters are from heaven compared to EB3 guys getting 5+ years experience is like personally bashing each and everyone who falls in that category.
I would think even if one has a green card in hand and cannot be sure of being in one place for at least 3-5 years, then quit thinking of buying a house until you secure yourself in one place for that kind of a term.
my greencard is filed under EB3 category and it looks like a long wait. My PD is 2003 Nov and i am an indian. We've been debating whether to buy a house when 485 is pending. what is the risk involved? how many people are in a similar situation? I have twin boys and they are 3 yrs old now and it's getting increasingly difficult to keep them in an apartment. Now with housing market going down as well, we are in a tight spot and have to make a decision quickly. I would appreciate any suggestion in this regard.
How/where else will you earn $15,000 (equity) per year by spending $13,500 (interest).
Remember, every payment I make, I also include the principal payment, so I am closer to owning more of my home as time passes.
>> But going with the spirit of my original post, in the long run, the equity you build (15K/yr) will far out weigh the yearly savings you get by renting.
You are right in 90% of cases - where people will otherwise spend the money and not save it.
If you have a mortgage - you are "forced" to save because the monthly amortization automatically builds equity. If you are renting - you are not "forced" to save that amount - and hence would probably be spent (in my case) in a gaming machine with I7 processor (which has NO long term value).
However, in the hypothetical 10% scenario (in case of immigrants, specially Indians, my gut feel is that it is significantly more than 10%) - where the amount is saved in some sort of investment vehicle instead of being frittered away - you would come out ahead in the long term.
There is going to be no difference whether you
1. Renew your H1 at the same company by filing an extension,
2. Transfer your H1 to another company by filing a transfer or
3. File a brand-new cap-subject H1 for someone who has never been on H1.
ALL OF THE 3 WILL BE AFFECTED.
For all 3, you have to file the same form I-129 and you get the same 2 forms in return from USCIS : I-797 (and I-94 too unless its an H1 for someone outside USA).
The first 2 ways are cap exempt, and the last one (brand new) H1 is cap subject.
But the process is the same. Paperwork is the same. You have to file LCA that shows the address/location of work, nature of work, title, salary etc. So even if you are working at same company, when you file for extension, you have to file a new LCA, that has all information and all that information will DISQUALIFY you if the new law passed and those rules of "consulting is illegal, outplacement at client site is illegal" apply.
So take this seriously and do not underestimate this.
And if you work perm-fulltime it will indirectly affect you. Projects are not done in isolation. Most projects have a mix of full-time employees and consultants who are sourced from vendors and H1B recruitors. Projects falter and fail when abruptly some consultants go back to their home countries because their H1s couldnt get extended. And that affects everyone. Job security depends on success of IT or other projects and if you are a part of failed project that was lost half way due to lack of skilled employees, then your job security also diminishes. If you are laid off, then the H1 transfer to a new company would be subject to the new rules under this law.
2010 house Newt Gingrich says he
I read your replies and it seems you are ignoring some facts and are forming a one sided opinion.
- Why did USCIS allow labor substitutions? Why did it take them so long to stop it? Why did they wait until after July 07 to stop it. Were they not allowing people to use this back door and lawyers to make money?
- If consulting is a problem, what were they doing in the past few years? What are they doing now? Do you think just a few raids once is enough to stop the problem? Why can't they enforce their own laws so that they punish the companies and not the immigrants.
- Why is USCIS making paperwork difficult. Why can't the system be simple like Canada or Australia so that we can do our own paperwork? Why are lawyers in the picture?
- If they find problem in consulting, why are they not going after Tata, Wipro etc. Don't tell me these companies are clean?
- Why is USCIS so disorganized without good IT. Do you think other agencies are also same? Do you think USCIS does not have enough money?
- Why can't they ban DV lottery? But go after H1Bs. You will say to do that law must be changed. But at least go strict on whom you approve once they are selected in the lottery. Are they not bringing lot of criminals, fanatics, unemployed and uneducated poor through DV.
- Why can't ICE do their job of enforcement and round up illegals. If they were strict we will not have so many illegals or the problem of illegals.
The questions will go on. But you need to step back and think more from the perspective of a applicant waiting for his GC or H1B .
Mark J. Penn is a man who wears many hats: high-paid political and corporate pollster, chief executive of an international communications and lobbying company, and chief strategist to New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Enough connections for you?
Well, there are more. Penn's firm, Burson-Marsteller Worldwide -- with 2,000 employees and $300 million a year in revenue -- owns BKSH & Associates, the major lobbying firm chaired by Charles R. Black Jr. That's right, Black, counselor to Republican presidents, reports to Clinton's top strategist.
The connections get even more entangled. Burson-Marsteller is a subsidiary of WPP Group, a London-based advertising and PR giant that owns many of the biggest names on K Street. These include Quinn Gillespie & Associates, Wexler & Walker Public Policy Associates, Timmons & Co., Ogilvy Government Relations Worldwide (formerly the Federalist Group), Public Strategies Inc., Dewey Square Group and Hill & Knowlton.
To be more precise, Penn's parent company employs as lobbyists and advisers an ex-chairman of the Republican National Committee (Edward W. Gillespie), a former House GOP leader (Robert S. Walker), a top GOP fundraiser (Wayne L. Berman), and the former media adviser to President Bush (Mark McKinnon).
WPP's Democrats are just as well known. They include an ex-aide to President Jimmy Carter (Anne Wexler), an ex-aide to President Bill Clinton (Jack Quinn), an ex-Cabinet officer for Clinton and Bush (Norman Y. Mineta), and a former top presidential campaign adviser for Al Gore and John Kerry (Michael J. Whouley).
The range of interests represented by these people is a staggering list of corporate America's who's who, with Penn himself a longtime adviser to Microsoft.
"This is a classic example of how big money has inextricably intertwined the campaign advising and lobbying worlds of modern-day Washington with potential conflicts of interest all over the place," said Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, a watchdog group.
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btw; see --------------------------------for my comments.
I can't help asking this.
I have been following your posts for a while. I know you are quite knowledgeable in immigration.
But many of your posts indicate you have a bias against Indians. You seem to be going hard against H1B and saying Indians are screwing H1Bs.
I like to believe you are unbiased. Please let us know.
Bharatpremi - Thanks for yr earlier reply and for yr optimistic EB3 (I) predictions in other threads.
here are the details about housing demand ..now that the bubble has burst with huge inventory still remaining ..it is difficult to see from where the (genuine) demand will come ..speculators and flippers are badly burnt ..This is from MSN money.
this country's median income of roughly $49,000 can hardly be expected to service the debt of the median home price of $234,000, up from approximately $160,000 in 2000.
Let's do a little math. Forty-nine thousand dollars in yearly income leaves approximately $35,000 in after-tax dollars. Call it $3,000 a month. A 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage would cost approximately $1,500 per month. That leaves only $1,500 a month for a family to pay for everything else! (Of course, in many communities the math is even less tenable.) This is the crux of the problem, and the government cannot fix it.
Housing prices, thanks to the bubble and inflation, have risen well past the point where the median (or typical middle-class) family can afford them. Either income must rise -- which seems unlikely on an inflated-adjusted basis -- or home prices must come down.
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IT HAPPENS ONLY in INDIA(N) ORIGIN PEOPLE
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I do share the same concern as you. But after doing a little bit of research about housing in my area, i did figure out that housing in good school areas are always in demand. So it's probably more important than ever to buy in a good school district if anybody is buying. Moreover in NJ you hardly have any land left to build any new houses, so there are not a lot of houses on the market in some areas. I am kind of relieved a little to buy it in the area i am buying. The job losses are a concern though. Right now it's only in the financial field but it could affect other industries also. But it's still a cycle and everytime we see some recession looming, it's been advertised as the worst in recent history still people live and come thru it. Some suffer losses going thru it, some doesn't get affected. During last recession, people lost millions in stocks and some my own friends lost more then 50K and that is no better than the situation we are in right now. So why worry now?
Fide_champ, very good arguments if you are not the one who is loosing ....
You will be winner if you come through. 2 problems though :
1. How do you know you will come through ?
2. Even if you do come through, dont you think you will make more if believe the economy is going further south !!
I will mention one of my favorite quotes :
" If my neighbor loses job it is recession but if I do its depression".
tattoo McGovern was a man who
My Point is more long term - in the shorter term no major change can happen to economy even if Barack wins but eventually Economy would be stronger under Barack's leadership. He also stressed that he would stop "JOBS BEING SHIPPED OVERSEAS" which means companies like TATA or INFY or some Chinese company taking my Job ( or any American's Job ) away from US to INDIA or CHINA. If you are planning a future in US - you would not want your US job taken away by your brother at INDIA or CHINA and Barack will make sure that doesn't happen.
The Bottonline is he will create tons of Jobs at US , so unemployment will be very low , average peoples will be happy and however loud ANTI-IMMIGRANTS scream and shout no AMERICAN will pay attention. Our EB reforms will Pass much easily and we will be able to able to lead a much happier and content life with GREEN CARD.
Once again my Point is definitely Long Term - in the shorter duration Barack has to first fix the Mortgage Mess and do something with Iran by taking help from EUROPE.
For arguments sake :)
if Barak wins the skies will part, unemployment will disappear, GCs will rain from the sky. Americans will hug Iran and peace will prevail....it is insane arguments like the one below that obamaphiles make, scares me about what will happen when he becomes the president. No legislative experience that is ok for him but not ok for Republican VP choice. Trashy ads from him are ok but no..no from the republicans. not a single major newspaper talks about his dealings with rezko or the 100k allocated to be spent on the garden. No major deatails on a single concrete proposal...reason being that public is not interested in the finer details. In the tank with major unions, look at the promises being made to them...anyways i dont get to vote i can look at all this dispassionately and watch it from far. He has a slick marketing campaing and the media loves him. Either ways my EB is so screwed i dont think either can help us out.
as you say 'lets take it EZ'
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Even if I offer current owners 20% less , the math does not make sense for me. Hence I am expecting 30% -35% correction from current expectations of the owners.
dresses Next. Former U.S. Speaker of
-- The GC limbo is going be there for the next 10 years so we can't take that as a factor in our home buying decision for this year or the next couple years. We are still going to be waiting for a GC in 2010 and 2011.
I have been paying rent since 2001 and my friends bought houses in 2004 & 2007. None at the moment think they are ahead of me due to their decision :) :p
-- 2004 and 2007 was the peak of the housing market. 2008 was the meltdown. Buyers who didn't buy in 2009 when the interest rates were at a 30 yr low are missing out big time. In just a month the rates have gone up. Not sure where they will be in 2010 and 2011 but a 30 year low point is good enough for me.
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at the risk of adding to this "no longer relevant" thread - there is a huge difference between US and India gaining independence.....in case of the former - it was some Britishers now settled in America fighting other Britishers (loyalists to the throne) for autonomy and independence......
India was perhaps the first successful example of natives gaining independence from a colonial European power....
also - to brush up on some more history - India was not occupied in 1600 - actually East India Company was established in that year.....the real establishment and consolidation of territorial control happened between two historical events (Battle of Plassey in 1757 and Sepoy Mutiny in 1857).....if we consider the 1757 date as start of colonization in true earnest - then India was independent in 190 years (1947 - 1757) against your calculation of 189 years for USA (as per your post - 1789-1600) - so not bad for a mostly non-violent struggle :-)
Also - one of the reasons Atlee thought it was too expensive to maintain colonies was because of all the Quit India and Civil Disobedience type regular movements -these movements took much political and military bandwidth that Britain simply did not have after the war.....if maitaining a colony was easy sailing - i doubt Britain would have given it up easily and we have to credit the non-violent movements for helping India becoming a pain in the neck for Britain......
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Just to mow lawn, gardening and keeping tab on overall resident development you pay $400/month..Thats ridiculously high...BTW,I am not from CA, excuse my ignorance.
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I tend to agree here IBM,Microsoft have their big presense in India they don't need to H1s they will be very happy to send few H1 guys who are already here and could not renew their H1, they can pay them lesss and get the same thing done,
but I still don't know who senate is going to react on this bill because their saying we have to solve all immigration issues in one bill (CIR)
i bought in east coast in 2004 for $330K. it peaked to $425K in 2006 and now it is somewhere $350K. it may go even go down to $300K
I will break even if i stay for another 3 years. (total 7 years)
If renting then : 110K in rent with no benefits for 7 years.
- Tax benefits with dual income. ( proabably $300 per month)
- Bigger house
IF i have to sell now then will be loss for me for sure so key is location and how long u stay.
For the past 8 years it has been status qou for us, do you really want this stalemate to continue?
He had proposed a very harsh H1b revamp and a total revamp of the L1 visa system.
for example companies hiring H1 would have had to certify and attest that multiple american candidates were interviewed for the poisition. The prevailing wage had to be the highest of three measures (i forget which 3). Transfers were limited or restricted. On the other hand the Dream act simply gave citizenship to any illegal attending high school. The Senator talks about humane immigration and i agree to a certain extent but it should be humane for legals too.