Issa's tech-backed Skills Visa Act passes House Judiciary panel

The House Judiciary panel adopted a manager's amendment by chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) by voice vote during the markup on Thursday. It proposes to give U.S. tech companies more flexibility when setting the wages for H-1B workers and will also phase out the siblings green card program over the next 10 years.

Democrats criticized the bill during the markup session because it eliminated two existing visa programs.

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Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) said the bill takes a "zero sum approach" to high-skilled immigration reform and "gives to some by only taking away from others."

Top tech trade associations, including the Consumer Electronics Association and Information Technology Industry Council, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce endorsed the bill.

Although the bill passed the Judiciary Committee, its future is murky. The House has yet to indicate what its path forward will be when tackling immigration reform, though Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has said he will only put legislation on the floor if it wins support from the majority of GOP members.