Friday, July 1, 2011

dirty boat names

images His Boats Sinking Faster then dirty boat names. The Dirtiest Boat Names (24
  • The Dirtiest Boat Names (24

  • alias
    04-08 07:01 AM
    I might be interesting to check with a lawyer whether:

    H1B extensions based on I-140 (beyond 6 years) are same as normal H1B extensions(without I-140). In other words, if someone has an I-140 approved does this bill still affect his H1B extension petition(assuming he is consulting)?

    wallpaper The Dirtiest Boat Names (24 dirty boat names. dresses Boat Names
  • dresses Boat Names

  • fromnaija
    08-02 11:40 AM
    Actually, USCIS does nothing with the Consulate copy of G-325 if applicant has been in the USA for more than one year. You can find this fact in the I-485 Adjudicator's manual.

    No; it is not fraud. I have seen many g-325a's and many people seem to miss last address outside usa for more then one year and last occupation for more then one year outside usa.

    There are many uses for this. If you look at the bottom left hand corner of g-325a there is some annotations to it. One of the g-325a's get sent to the consulate. Now; what does the consulate do with it???? Do they compare it with your original visa application of what your last occupation/address was?

    One of the other uses of this information is that a person could have come to usa 8 years ago but you only need to show 5 years of biographical information. USCIS can then calculate when you really came into the country and see if you maintained the status ever since you left your foreign residence.

    dirty boat names. Please post your oat name
  • Please post your oat name

  • alterego
    10-03 02:48 PM
    Fundamental decency and fairness demand that this issue be addressed by congress. When one comes to this country at the invitation of their employer, works hard, abides by all the laws, pays into the social safety net and taxes with not even a vote in the country, and with the implicit belief in the founding principles of this country as a country of immigrants. I feel it is truly against the core principles that strengthened this country.
    What am I to do after 11 yrs here, having invested my youth and my hopes in this country. Where am I to go, to start over. Why? What of the disruption to those whose job depends on my presence here?
    Only a right wing ideologue nativist can argue that those like us should not be given full acceptance in society. It is apparent to every observer that there is a xenophobic slant to their argument. If an argument is made against us, why not an argument by native Americans that their homeland was stolen. No number of generations of presence here could effectively address that. The irony is that the quality of life of indigenous americans has been enriched by the presence of immigrants. It is a part of the magic of America. It is a magic that no ideologue should be allowed to extinguish.
    I sincerely hope Barack Obama can reignite this threatened ideal in America. He has the awareness of the issues around it and the skills to do it, but will he? I don't know but I certainly hope so.

    2011 dresses Boat Names dirty boat names. for ideas for oat names.
  • for ideas for oat names.

  • mrajatish
    04-09 11:13 AM
    I am all for cleaning the system and reforming H1B - but I oppose an ill conceived half measure such as the one Senator Durbin/Grassley is proposing.

    My main concern is two fold:
    1. Let us assume I am a very bright individual and I am currently in Harvard. If I graduate from Harvard Business School, and I want to join McKenzie, can I do that? Can I ever be a Management consultant in US if I want to (read I as any random Joe who is not US citizen/GC holder)

    2. Can I switch jobs within a couple of weeks if I need to (I refers to someone who works for a good company but perceives opportunities else where) - this is important as my competition (US citizen/GC holder) has no restriction in place for them. This is also important during recession when I might be a valuable asset to another company but the company cannot afford to wait.

    My point is: definitely prevent abuse of the system, but not by putting more shackles on the hapless employee. Give the employee freedom to move anywhere for a certain period of time (could be 3 yrs renewable 2 times as per current H1b) and have strict penalties if this employee overstays visa etc.

    Additionally, if employers abuse the system, send them to jail right away (and have whistle blower immigrant status protection). Make employers more accountable than they are today.

    Just my 2 cents.....


    dirty boat names. Home Again Boat Name
  • Home Again Boat Name

  • Macaca
    05-18 05:29 PM
    Why Ai Weiwei's case matters for the future of China on the world stage ( By Peter Foster | Telegraph

    There’s a perception in Britain that human rights issues in China are really just a hobby-horse of the liberal left, an issue that only bothers people who pay an annual subscription to Amnesty International.

    That’s a big mistake, because human rights – or more broadly, political reforms and good governance – are the fundamental key to China emerging this century as a developed and stable nation. Everyone has an interest in making that happen.

    A recent report from France’s INSEAD business school picked up by the Wall Street Journal traces the clear correlation between good governance (rule of law, property rights etc) and prosperity.

    Economically oligarchies and authoritarian states stall when they hit per-capital income levels of about USD$15,000 a per head. China is predicted to reach USD$8,300 this year, which means the time when these issues are starting to press is fast approaching.

    “Without reform, growth is not sustainable,” says Antonio Fatas, an economist at INSEAD and co-author of the study, “This has clear implications for China and other countries.”

    That’s why Jim O’Neill of Goldman Sachs, on a visit to China last week, said that his biggest worry for China was not near-term inflation, or asset bubbles or bad debts but the Communist Party’s long-term ability to adapt politically to a new world.

    Asked about risks to the ongoing China story, Mr O’Neill (the man who coined the BRICs acronym) cited inflation and rising protectionism in Washington as “small” risks, before sounding his note of real caution.

    “The third thing [risk to China], that’s much longer term; as Chinese people get wealthier, the Chinese central party machine has to adapt more and more to keep in synch with what Chinese people want, and that might be a real challenge,” he warned.

    That’s why Ai Weiwei’s case matters – not just as an individual human being (though he does) but also because his case is symptomatic of the failure of China’s ruling Communist Party to create credible political institutions in which the rest of the world can have faith.

    As Markus Loning, Germany’s human rights commissioner, said this week in Beijing. “It is not about a single case, but the rule of law. If we want to have development, it is important for people to claim that they are protected [by the law].”

    The world must speak up over the detention of Ai Weiwei ( By Boris Johnson | Telegraph

    Australia's multilateralism fetish ( By Michael Wesley | The Interpreter
    Will violence in Mexico impact immigrant pool in US? ( By Sara Miller Llana | The Christian Science Monitor
    Let us deport the bad guys
    Critics are wrong: The Secure Communities program works. (,0,7647155.story)
    By Lee Baca | Los Angeles Times
    Hispanic Growth Shapes 2012 Race ( By GERALD F. SEIB | Wall Street Journal
    E-2 visa helps many non-U.S. citizens start small firms (,0,7260673.story) By Cyndia Zwahlen | Los Angeles Times

    dirty boat names. Submit your oat name ideas
  • Submit your oat name ideas

  • abracadabra102
    01-03 07:01 PM
    If cockroaches from my house take a dump in your kitchen, don't ask me to apologize for that.

    You summed up the entire Pakistani approach to terrorism beautifully. We have a problem. You won't cleanup your house and I can't live like you (with all these cockroaches coming from your house). I am afraid I may have to burn your house down. I may lose my house as well, but that is the risk I should be taking.


    dirty boat names. Read the message, name the
  • Read the message, name the

  • Administrator2
    01-08 03:25 PM

    Please check your private messages. We do not encourage abusive language on this forum. We very much appreciate your participation in this very important effort but no one wants to see you use abusive language at all times, including when discussing controvertial topics.



    2010 Please post your oat name dirty boat names. His Boats Sinking Faster then
  • His Boats Sinking Faster then

  • Ramba
    09-28 01:50 PM
    Last time the CIR bill died because a lot of people are against granting amnesty to illegal immigrants ( both Republicans and democrats ) . The president alone ( read Obama ) cannot decide that he wants to pass this bill because remember last year Bush was strongly in favour of the CIR bill and even had a conference with Senate leaders to push it through but it failed . The politicians know that the American people don't like the bill but they have to show that they are concerned with solving the illegal immigrant issue. This CIR bill is only a political gimmick. It came into picture because of the upcoming elections and next year I am pretty sure with no more elections the interest would not be that much to get it passed ( although I am sure there will be a lot of people interested in getting it to the House and the Senate ).

    As someone said before if they try to bring some anti - highly skilled workers bill then the big companies are sure to cry out loud ( Microsoft , Cisco , Oracle etc etc ) and the politicians don't listen to us but they will surely listen to them. They have got the clout to get themselves heard.

    Right. CIR (amnesty bill) is a gimmick to win vote bank. Mcain drafted in 2007 in view of winning hispanic bank in his prez bid. Recently he flip floped to concervatives that enforcement is first. Though BO has reservation about EB/H1B/oursourcing, he is right and has right judgement. If unemployment reaches historically high, how one can expect they will increase the foreign workers? They are elected by USC not by H1Bs or GCs os AOS guys. If economy bounces back, if more jobs are created, if market needs more workforce then they (Mcain or BO) will increase H1/EB etc. Otherwise, they (either BO or Mcain) wont touch the immigration that increses foreign worker.


    dirty boat names. Boat Names - the Blog: A View
  • Boat Names - the Blog: A View

  • alahiri
    07-15 11:01 AM
    Like anything else there are people of all kinds...there are h1b's who own a house and BMW's (and stock options in the valley) and there are h1b's that share a apartment with a couple of roomates to save some money.I have been here for 10 years and I have seen all kinds...basically what a h1b does depends on wether he is bachelor,family man ,his age , experience and his priorities in life etc..the only thing common is that everyone of them can be much more productive if they get permanent residency.A GC will give them a lot of choices and will give them wings to fly.

    Wish everyone the best ...keep up the spirit and the good work.

    hair for ideas for oat names. dirty boat names. 25 Best Boat Names
  • 25 Best Boat Names

  • ssa
    06-25 03:47 PM
    You just gave an example of a guy who owns his own house.

    And who was rich first and does not consider his house as an investment!


    dirty boat names. girlfriend TUG BOAT NAME
  • girlfriend TUG BOAT NAME

  • JunRN
    09-26 02:09 PM
    OBAMA is for lesser H1B but more EB GC. He prefers workers who are entering the US to have intention to stay permanently than temporarily because it helps the economy.

    That's the wisdom of Durbin amendment. Lesser H1B because you will get GC instead.

    hot Home Again Boat Name dirty boat names. cheesiest) oat names for
  • cheesiest) oat names for

  • pappu
    08-05 09:33 PM
    In a poor zoo of India, a lion was frustrated as he was offered not more than 1 kg meat a day. The lion thought its prayers were answered when one US Zoo Manager visited the zoo and requested the zoo management to shift the lion to the US Zoo.

    The lion was so happy and started thinking of a central A/c environment, a goat or two every day and a US Green Card also.

    On its first day after arrival, the lion was offered a big bag, sealed very nicely for breakfast. The lion opened it quickly but was shocked to see that it contained few bananas. Then the lion thought that may be they cared too much for him as they were worried about his stomach as he had recently shifted from India.

    The next day the same thing happened. On the third day again the same food bag of bananas was delivered.

    The lion was so furious, it stopped the delivery boy and blasted at him, 'Don't you know I am the lion... king of the Jungle..., what's wrong with your management?, what nonsense is this? Why are you delivering bananas to me?'

    The delivery boy politely said, 'Sir, I know you are the king of the jungle but ..did you know that you have been brought here on a monkey's visa!!!

    Moral: Better to be a Lion in India than a Monkey elsewhere!!!

    If you are interested to lead this effort, you can lead a thread of jokes on the forum and lighten up everyone.


    house Dirty boat! dirty boat names. Re: Boat Names. « Reply #5 on: December 21, 2010, 10:47:24 PM »
  • Re: Boat Names. « Reply #5 on: December 21, 2010, 10:47:24 PM »

  • desi3933
    07-11 10:33 AM
    Hi UN,
    First of all my sincere gratitude to you for your patience and the time you put in to give a detailed reply to all cases.

    Here's my situation(I think a case of status violation)

    I did an L1 to H1 transfer in 2005. My L1 was valid till APRIL 2006. So my intention was to work with L1 employer till April 2006 and then switch to H1 employer.

    H1 employer also applied for a change of status, which I was not aware of that time. I asked the H1 company's lawyer whether I could continue with my L1 employer after getting the H1 and she said it's fine.

    So I got the H1B approval in Oct 2005, but still continued with L1 employer till APRIL 2006, then switched to H1.

    Your last action dictates the status you are in. As the last I-94 has H1 Status, you have 30 days to start working with new employer (or apply for CoS to stay on L1). It is usually a good idea to file H1 without Change of Status if you don't know the start date. In that case you have to re-enter US on that visa to get into that status.

    Recently I came to know that this could be an issue. When I was filling the G-325A form, I wondered if I specify that I worked with the L1 employer till APRIL 2006, would they catch this?? Even if they catch , how big an issue would this be??

    If I put the dates to reflect the dates to show that I quit my L1 employer in Oct 2005 itself, would this be an issue?? I guess in this case, if by any chance they ask for any further evidence like pay stubs or W2 in that period of time, I would be in trouble.

    I would always suggest the real dates on any form. Section 245(k) covers out-of-status issues. Why lie and caught for fraud when we have protection under law.

    If caught for fraud, it can cause some very serious issues. I-485 can be denied just on this basis.

    From what I have read from the forum, A lawful re-entry should clear the violation in my case right?? I haven't filed the I-485 yet. My I-140 is pending.
    Do they catch this during I-140 stage??
    Can I go to Canada/Mexico for stamping? where would I get an appointment at the earliest??

    1. Re-entry erases out-of-status and puts one in valid status. As per section 245(k), one is required to be instatus (or out of status < 180 days) since last entry into US.
    2. You were out-of-status, not unlawful presence (i.e. staying past due I-94 date). So visa can not denied on the basis of out-of-status.
    3. Not sure about getting visa from Canada. Is it your first time for getting H1 visa stamp?

    Not a legal advice.

    tattoo Submit your oat name ideas dirty boat names. Re: Cool oat names.
  • Re: Cool oat names.

  • vbkris77
    03-24 04:21 PM
    Hello, If I were to put you all guys in a room and give you a permission to fight each other, you will really beat the crap out of others..

    Any topic, any issue will lead to in-fighting..

    Why did most Indians were caught on wrong doings in H1B, becos, most Indians had to spend most time on H1B status. Atleast 5 more years than usual. I am not saying it is right. But that is the fact..

    How long is Long enough to prove that one is employed to a GC?? No one knows???

    How many of the FTEs do other jobs that are not listed on their H1B? I bet most.. You don't look at your H1B petition to see if you are qualified to do that job or not. You will do it if you asked by your boss. Even if you can't, you will learn and still do it.

    So stop these crazy talk and help the OP if you can or just give a moral support.

    Most of you are not still convinced that we are not the reason for backlog. It is CIS that wasted visas and is the reason for the backlog.. That is the problem..


    pictures Read the message, name the dirty boat names. Re: Cool oat names.
  • Re: Cool oat names.

  • pappu
    04-07 05:35 AM

    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.


    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.

    Infact, this affects everyone.

    Students looking for new H1B
    Students on OPT
    H1Bs getting extensions
    H4s transferring to H1Bs

    and all H1Bs indirectly and directly

    Because now ALL employers will be hesitant to hire an H1B in ANY field due to such tough laws and lot of paperwork and lot of restrictions.

    dresses cheesiest) oat names for dirty boat names. Boat Name for Susie Q
  • Boat Name for Susie Q

  • axp817
    03-25 09:10 AM
    When United Nations talks, I listen.

    And learn.

    I'll go back to listening now.



    makeup Boat Names - the Blog: A View dirty boat names. Dirty boat!
  • Dirty boat!

  • mrajatish
    07-08 10:07 AM
    I applied for GC under schedule A in may06 .My husband filed as derivative.He received a notice of intent to denial last month .Reason being he did not have paystubs for a period of more than 6 months during 2000 and 2001.His employer at that time did not pay him even after he worked for 4 months then he took few more months to change his company(more than 180 days)In 2002 he went to India and came back .and in 2004 filed for a GC as primary petitioner and me as a derivative .last year he withdrew the petition after he received several RFE`S fearing the worst.Even though he no longer has GC filed as primary petitioner he received notice of intent to deny for the petion filed through me saying that his H1 was not legal as could`nt show proof for several months and that when he filed for AOS he used those years as work experience.
    and now another problem is I applied for EAD in march and have not received new old ead expired 10 days ago.and now Iam not working.
    We bought a house last year thinking that under schedule A we`ll get GC in no time.Now we know it is a terrible mistake.Now both of us can`t work and had to take my son out of daycare. and we have house payments to make.We put our house for sale weeks ago and so far no offers.I contacted local representative to expedite My EAD and also contacted USCIS to expedite it,
    citing financial burden.We are spending sleepless nights and have no clue what to do for my EAD and his AOS.pLEASE HELP.
    Did anyone face similar situation .Any suggestions are welcome.

    1. When you filed I-485, you should file under 245(K) immediately - I believe someone already mentioned that below. For derivative applications, the derivative applicant may be "out of status" for any length without any issues for AOS approval.

    2. For the 6 mos period he was without pay check, does he have any proof of employment and correspondingly any letter showing that he was on vacation/leave of absense. I had a 15 day period between 2 jobs where I took time off but had no vacation, hence leave without pay but I have leave letter from my manager in letter-head (I know a lot of people do that as taking vacation between jobs gives them a fresh start).

    3. Did the period length where he did not have a pay check exceed 180 days at a stretch?

    Bottomline, it seems an overzealous USCIS officer is trying to find ways to deny your application - you should involve a good lawyer and get immediate rebuttal for Notice of Denial.

    girlfriend Re: Cool oat names. dirty boat names. Hence H#39;Islander (current name) Was thinking about the scuba thing
  • Hence H#39;Islander (current name) Was thinking about the scuba thing

  • gsc999
    04-06 11:32 PM
    Certain provisions of this bill will create unnecessary hurdles for many H1_B visa holders and employers.

    Thanks for highlighting. Lets take appropriate action.

    hairstyles girlfriend TUG BOAT NAME dirty boat names. Picture sent in with oat name
  • Picture sent in with oat name

  • Macaca
    09-24 04:30 PM
    How To Write To Congress ( BY CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER | Consumerist, SEP 23 2007

    Writing to Congress is the single best way to express your view on public policy. The average consumer has a surprising ability to influence legislation by crafting a well written missive and avoiding several common mistakes.

    Why Personal Letters Beat Form Letters

    Don't get suckered in by the quick and easy "Write to Congress!" form letters littering the internet. Form letters are not an expression of values; they are a show of organizational strength. If the NRA convinces five million people to send letters opposing gun control, it shows that the NRA can muster five million people to action, not that five million people necessarily care about gun laws. Congressional offices know this and generally disregard form letters.

    So what happens when you send a letter?

    Every office has its own procedures for tabulating constituent correspondence, but most will produce a report at the end of week breaking down how many letters were received by issue area, separating out form letters from letters sent by individual constituents.

    Members treat each type of letter differently, but most look for individual letters as a barometer of their district's concerns. These are the letters that have the most influence, the ones we will show you how to write.

    What Should Your Letter Say?

    We adhere to the three paragraph rule: introduce yourself, introduce your issue, request action. Congressional offices have staffers whose days are spent solely on the mail, so make their lives easier by keeping letter succinct and to the point.

    Introduce Yourself: There is a two-prong test for determining your worth: 1) Are you a constituent? 2) Are you an important constituent? Feel free to puff up your chest. Are you a lifelong member of the district? Are you associated with community groups? Say so! Convince the reader that yours is a voice of experience and wisdom.

    Be specific: Don't just ask a Member to oppose mandatory binding arbitration agreements. Ask them to rush to the floor to support S.1782, The Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007.

    Marshall Facts: Your argument - and you are making an argument - must be supported by facts. Feel free to use facts gleaned from us or other sources, but don't copy and paste paragraphs of pre-written text from form letters. Personal experiences are particularly effective, and often moving. Share them!
    Be Exceedingly Polite, Please: Congress attracts haughty personalities. Staffers don't appreciate being spoken down to or insulted. You are trying to rally them to your cause, so be nice!

    Clearly State Your Request: Plainly tell your representative that you want them to support or oppose a certain bill. If you want a response, explicitly (but politely!) ask for one.

    It should go without saying that your letter should follow all formal style guidelines, such as a return name and address, and should be free of spelling and grammatical errors.

    Send Your Letter To The Right Place

    Only write to your representatives. You have three: one Representative in the House, and two Senators. Do not send more than three letters. Some citizens try to get their voice heard by writing to all 435 members of the House. Congressional courtesy compels the 434 Members who do not represent the zealot to forward his letter to the one lucky Member who does. This angers the Member's staff greatly at the expense of any point you are trying to make.

    The addresses for your Representatives and Senators are available online, but don't waste your time with an email. Letters carry significantly more weight. Send your letter to the Capitol, where the legislative staff is based, though it will take a while to arrive since all incoming Congressional mail is irradiated thanks to those still-unidentified Anthrax mailers.

    For an even greater impact, send your letter care of the staffer covering the issue. These staffers - called Legislative Assistants - are the Member's eyes and ears on their assigned issue areas. Finding the staffer destined to read your letter is easy: call the Capitol switchboard (open 24 hours a day!) at (202) 224-3121, ask for your Member's office, and ask the person who answers for the name of the staffer handling the issue area or bill number. Once you get that name, address your letter like this:

    Member Of Congress
    c/o Staffer
    Office Building/Number
    Washington, DC 20515

    What Should You Expect In Return?

    Depends. There are 535 Congressional offices and each handles constituent correspondence differently. The vast majority respond to letters with either a form letter pre-written by a Legislative Assistant, or with a more personal response written by a Legislative Correspondent. Controversial issues that attract many letters normally receive a form letter response, while smaller issues or specific questions often receive the attention of a personalized response.


    Members of Congress work for you. Without your votes, they won't stay in office. They go to great lengths to cultivate a positive relationship with you, their boss. Very few people take the time to write to a Member of Congress, so the few that do carry a disproportionate influence.

    Fifteen minutes is well worth the time to influence a $2 trillion enterprise.

    02-28 09:39 AM
    Jack Abramoff, Jack Abramoff ... ( NYT Editorial, Feb 28

    Anxiety is palpable in the House as lawmakers try to wriggle out of a vote on whether to create an independent Office of Congressional Ethics. Despite last-minute cries of alarm and resistance from both sides of the aisle, the public is counting on Speaker Nancy Pelosi to stand fast and steer this overdue dose of ethics reform to passage.

    The office would have six professionals, appointed by the two party leaders, charged with the task of screening complaints of misbehavior for possible referral to the House ethics committee for fuller inquiry. Opponents from both parties openly worry that partisan rivals would hand over false complaints and that any investigation � including those that don�t result in a referral � could threaten their careers.

    Fears of any runaway inquisition can be more than negated by the appointment of blue-ribbon, nonpartisan professionals. Even now, those fears are being exploited by some Republicans. According to National Journal�s Congress Daily, Republican staffers have been threatening to use the office to target a hit list of Democrats this fall. This would be a new low in tooth-and-claw partisanship, and cooler heads had better prevail in the caucus.

    Members should face up to a vote that tests their mettle � and most recent campaign promises � as upholders of ethical reform for the peoples� House. We suggest lawmakers fight their anxiety by quietly repeating the name Jack Abramoff, Jack Abramoff � the imprisoned superlobbyist who corrupted House members � as a prevote mantra.

    Or they could chant the name Rick Renzi, the House member indicted on 35 counts of fraud, money laundering and extortion for allegedly netting $700,000 in a political land scheme. He joins a half-dozen other members plus staffers already brought down while the House ethics committee looked the other way.

    Critics have compromised the measure enough by stripping subpoena power from the proposed integrity office. However anxious, the House can�t duck cleaning up its ethics act. Lawmakers may even find doing the right thing an impressive accomplishment to present to the voters back home.

    Louisiana Governor Pierces Business as Usual ( By ADAM NOSSITER | NYT, Feb 28

    12-23 09:42 PM
    Congress Cool on Tech Issues in 2007 ( Patent reform, security, Internet access and other topics are expected to gain a higher profile next session PC World, Dec 23, 2007

    No one is calling 2007 a banner year for the technology industry in the U.S. Congress.

    Congress passed a handful of bills on many tech vendor and trade group wish lists, but in several cases, they represented partial victories.

    "This Congress so far has a record of neglect on technology issues," said Representative Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican, whose party lost the majority in Congress in the November 2006 elections.

    Goodlatte isn't an impartial observer, but members of the tech community also acknowledge that Congress has been slow to act on tech issues this year. Still, not everyone was expecting great things from a Congress that had to reorganize after the change in party control.

    It's too early to judge this session of Congress, which continues through 2008, said Kevin Richards, federal government relations manager at cybersecurity vendor Symantec. "I think we have a lot of interest [from lawmakers], and this has the potential to be a tech-friendly Congress," Richards said.

    Members of the tech community point to some success in Congress this year:

    Congress passed the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science Act, which became law in August. TheAmerica Competes Actallocated US$43.3 billion for research and math- and science-education programs.

    Congress approved a free-trade agreement with Peru in December, the only such agreement approved this year. Some labor and environmental groups opposed some free-trade agreements, but the pacts are "imperative" for tech vendors, said Sage Chandler, senior director of international trade for the Consumer Electronics Association.

    The CEA, which launched a campaign against "protectionism" in October, said every trade agreement is important to its members. Upcoming free-trade agreements coming before Congress include Columbia, Panama and South Korea. A handful of CEA members are already doing business in Peru or would like to and between 2000 and 2006 U.S. consumer-electronics exports to Peru increased by 12 percent, Chandler said.

    "Without the ability to sell into foreign markets and get components from foreign markets, our companies aren't going to be able to employ Americans," she said.

    Some successes the tech community can point to, however, were partial victories:

    Congress, in late October, passed a seven-year extension to a moratorium on access taxes and other taxes unique to the Internet. But many tech groups and lawmakers had pushed for a permanent tax ban, arguing that it was needed to foster Internet and broadband growth.

    Opponents of a permanent ban successfully argued that it would remove a check on Internet service providers attempting to include other services, such as VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol), in the tax ban. In addition, some lawmakers argued that a permanent ban could cripple the ability to pay for services.

    But some lawmakers argued Congress should've gone farther. The House of Representatives, which in the past has approved permanent extensions, this year passed a four-year extension and "had to have the Senate show them the way to a better seven-year extension," Goodlatte said. The "ultimate goal" should be a permanent tax moratorium, he said.

    The Senate in December passed a one-year extension to a research and development tax credit for U.S. companies. TheTemporary Tax Relief Act, which the House approved Nov. 9, extends the tax credit, which covers 20 percent of qualified R&D spending. But many tech groups have called on Congress to permanently extend the R&D tax credit, which has been extended a dozen times since 1981.

    Supporters of an expanded tax credit argue that the U.S. has fallen behind other nations in its R&D support. Once the most generous with R&D tax breaks, the U.S. by 2004 fell to 17th out of the 30 nations of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

    But the tax break comes with a price tag of about $7 billion a year, and Congress has been reluctant to extend the program long term. Some government watchdog groups have called the R&D tax credit corporate welfare.

    Some tech groups have said the R&D tax credit helps keep high-paying tech jobs in the U.S. And companies have a hard time mapping out their R&D when the credit keeps expiring, said Symantec's Richards. "The on-again, off-again nature of the credit makes it impossible for companies to do the long-term planning that's needed," he said.

    In many other areas, Congress failed to act on legislation many tech groups called for:

    Patent reform: Many large tech companies said their top priority was for Congress to pass a wide-ranging patent reform bill that would make it more difficult for patent holders to sue and collect massive infringement awards. The House of Representatives in September passed thePatent Reform Act, which would allow courts to limit patent damage awards if a patented invention is a small piece of a larger product. Among other things, the bill would also allow a new way to challenge patents within one year after they've been granted.

    Supporters of the bill, including Microsoft and IBM, argued that it's too easy for patent holders who have no intent of marketing an invention to sue large companies and collect multimillion-dollar damages when a small piece of a technology product is found to infringe. "There are people who now just hold patents to sue and not to innovate," said Symatec's Richards.

    Another important piece of the bill would limit where patent holders could file lawsuits, Richards said. Many patent holders file lawsuits in the patent-friendly U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, even though neither the patent holder or the accused infringer is located there.

    Opponents, including pharmaceutical companies, some small technology vendors and inventors, have successfully stalled the bill in the Senate. They say the bill severely weakens the power of patents.

    Senate leaders say they will tackle the bill again in January. Opponents will continue to pressure lawmakers, said Ronald Riley, president of the Professional Inventors Alliance, which has enlisted the support of some labor unions.

    Opponents have talked about finding candidates to run against lawmakers who support the bill, Riley said. "We will have an all-out onslaught on the legislation," Riley said. "We think we will have to make an example of some legislators."

    H-1B visas: Another top priority of many tech vendors has been an expansion of the H-1B visa program for skilled foreign workers. The current yearly cap is 65,000 visas, with exceptions for an additional 20,000 graduate students, but in recent years, the cap has been filled before the year begins.

    Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates testified before a Senate committee in March, saying the U.S. should not shut out talented workers. "We have to welcome the great minds of this world, not drive them out of this country," Gates said. "These employees are vital to American competitiveness."

    But U.S. tech worker groups such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers-USA (IEEE-USA) have opposed a higher H-1B cap, arguing that companies use the program to hire foreign workers for less money than unemployed U.S. workers would receive. An H-1B increase to 115,000 was part of a comprehensive immigration bill in the Senate, but that bill stalled over a contentious debate about illegal immigration.

    Data breaches: A handful of data breach notification and cybercrime bills stalled as Congress focused on other issues. The House approved two antispyware bills, one that created penalties of up to five years in prison for some spyware-like behavior. But the Senate didn't act on the bills, in part because there are concerns that the second spyware bill would preempt tougher state laws.

    Net neutrality: Many consumer groups and Internet-based companies continued to call on Congress to pass a net neutrality law, which would prohibit broadband providers from blocking or slowing competitors' Web content. However, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission has included some net neutrality rules in an upcoming spectrum auction, and both Verizon Wireless and AT&T have recently pledged to allow outside content and devices on their mobile-phone networks.

    Congress has also examined tougher penalties for copyright infringement, but hasn't moved legislation forward. With the change in party control, some things have been delayed, and "that was fine with us," said Art Brodsky, spokesman for Public Knowledge, a consumer-rights group that has opposed tougher copyright penalties.

    Some observers expect Congress to be more active on tech issues in 2008. It will be an election year, and it will be hard for controversial legislation to move forward, but many tech issues aren't partisan, Goodlatte said.

    Passing some tech-related legislation would show some progress, he said. "I would think that the Democratic leadership, in the miserable lack of success they've had in passing legislation this year, would be looking for a new approach in the new year," he said.

    No comments:

    Post a Comment