House on track to approve visa changes aiding India, China

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), the main sponsor of the bill, said this arrangement is unfair to larger countries that might have more skilled workers who want to work in the U.S.

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"While per country limits make some limited sense in the area of family immigration, they make no sense in the context of employment-based immigration," Chaffetz said on the House floor. "American companies treat all high-skilled immigrants equally regardless of where they come from. Our immigration policy should do the same."

Democrats agreed.

"Because of this per-country limit, a country like India, with a population of 1.2 billion, is limited to the same number of visas as a country like Iceland, with a population of 300,000 and a lot of ice," Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) said.

The bill would also increase family-related visas for countries, letting them have up to 15 percent of total family visas issued each year. (This bill, and others noted below, were passed later in the evening.)

The House also debated two other bills that should also pass under suspension. One of these, H.R. 2192, would extend for another four years the exemption that currently allows Guardsmen and Reservists to avoid a means test as part of a bankruptcy proceeding. The means test is normally uused to ensure that someone declaring bankruptcy is not capable of paying their creditors.

The second, H.R. 1801, would require the establishment of a faster airport screening process for members of the Armed Services.

At around 5 p.m., the House approved a bill by unanimous consent, H.R. 2465. This bill, the Federal Workers Compensation Modernization and Improvement Act, would update healthcare coverage plans for federal workers by allowing doctor's assistants and advance practice nurses to certify a federal worker's disability, and streamlining the claims process for workers injured in areas of armed conflict.

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