House Passes HR 1629, Immigration Legislation to be Funded by G-Fee Increase

by devteam December 1st, 2012 | Share

The House of Representatives passed HR 1629,rnthe STEM Jobs Act of 2012 on Friday afternoon even as opposition to the fundingrnof the measure was getting organized. rnThe bill amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to make up to 55,000rnvisas available to qualified immigrants with certain advanced degrees who agreernto work for at least five years for the petitioning employer or in the UnitedrnStates in a STEM field.   STEM is arndesignation indicating advanced training in science, technology, engineering orrnmath.</p

The bill, introduced by Lamar Smith (R-TX)rnoriginally dealt straightforwardly with the visa issue; however after it wasrnsent to the House Rules Committee the bill was altered with what is generallyrnknown as a “payfor.”  This addition wouldrnrequire Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to increase their guarantee fees to coverrnthe cost of implementing the STEM Jobs Act. rn</p

On Thursday David H. Stevens, President and CEO of the MortgagernBankers Association (MBA), urged Congress to reconsider their approach of usingrnguarantee fees for this purpose.  He saidrnin part, “Fannie and Freddie’s guarantee feesrnare supposed to be used to help offset the risk inherent in providingrnmortgages, and any increases to those fees should be used for that purpose.rn Dipping back into the housing piggybank to pay for unrelated policy items</bon the backs of America's homebuyers sends the wrong message at a time when thernhousing market is starting to show signs of recovery."</p

He said that lawmakers should reconsider diverting the feesrnfrom their intended purpose, adding “Increasing the cost of most mortgages willrnonly add to the uncertainty that is plaguing the mortgage market and holdingrnback a more a robust housing recovery.”  </p

Details regarding the amount of the G-Fee increase and thernbreakdown of the House vote are not yet available.  We will provide more information as itrnbecomes available.

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About the Author


Steven A Feinberg (@CPAsteve) of Appletree Business Services LLC, is a PASBA member accountant located in Londonderry, New Hampshire.

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