Judiciary panel postpones action on H-1B visas

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Schumer asked to delay a vote on Hatch’s amendments until next week, to the visible exasperation of Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyCongress should build on the momentum from spending bill Overnight Tech: Zuckerberg grilled by lawmakers over data scandal | What we learned from marathon hearing | Facebook hit with class action lawsuit | Twitter endorses political ad disclosure bill | Uber buys bike share Overnight Cybersecurity: Zuckerberg faces grilling in marathon hearing | What we learned from Facebook chief | Dems press Ryan to help get Russia hacking records | Top Trump security adviser resigning MORE (D-Vt.).

“At some point, we have to vote on these things,” said Leahy.

The AFL-CIO, a key stakeholder in the immigration reform debate, opposes the Hatch amendments, which would soften restrictions on skilled workers.

The Hatch amendments would ease the requirement placed on companies to look for U.S. workers before filling a job with a worker holding an H-1B visa. One proposal would simply require “a good faith recruitment of United States workers in accordance with industry standards.”

The current version of the bill requires companies to first offer jobs to qualified U.S. workers before hiring foreign workers.

A business coalition including Accenture, Altria, Hewlett-Packard C. and Intel Corp. supports Hatch’s amendments.