Democratic Whip Hoyer met with Facebook's Sandberg

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Technology companies are lobbying Congress to allow more high-skilled immigrants into the country, saying legislation is critical for them to be able to stay globally competitive. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has formed his own group, FWD.us, to back candidates who support immigration legislation. 

Hoyer's trip was partially to discuss the policy issues facing tech companies and partially to raise money for the Democratic Party, he said. 

The number two House Democrat also met with executives from eBay, Hewlett Packard, Nasdaq, Disqus, Salesforce.com, Practice Fusion, Life Sciences Venture Capital, Palantir and Aptus Endosystems Manufacturing. 

He said he discussed tax issues, patent litigation, National Security Agency surveillance and other issues with the executives.

He explained that the technology companies want greater transparency of government surveillance programs so that they can prove to their customers that their personal data is secure.

"[Edward] Snowden might have done the right thing, according to some. I disagreed with that," Hoyer said. 

He said he would support strengthening the ability of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to oversee the NSA and changing how the surveillance court judges are chosen. 

He said the current system of allowing the chief justice of the Supreme Court to choose all of the surveillance court judges "raises concern about how representative the court is of various different perspectives."

Hoyer met with Tod Cohen, eBay's deputy general counsel, who argued that Congress should only tax online purchases for companies that make more than $10 million per year. The Senate passed online sales tax legislation earlier this year that covers all companies with more than $1 million in annual revenue. The House has yet to take up the bill. 

"Once you've adopted the premise that there will be an exemption, I have no objection to looking at the level," Hoyer said.