these elections affect H-1Bs too, you know?

October 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

Computerworld – WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who faces a tough fight for re-election on Tuesday, has been using the issue of offshore outsourcing to attack his opponent, Tea Party-backed Republican Sharron Angle. One of Reid’s TV ads includes someone saying, “Sharron Angle supports tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas — that’s just crazy.” The national unemployment rate of 9.6% has made offshoring a top issue in this year’s midterm elections, but will the results of Tuesday’s voting change the H-1B visa battle in Congress? Much depends on which scenario plays out on Nov. 2. Some scenarios favor H-1B opponents, others play out for the tech industry, and still others would leave the visa debate deadlocked.
If Reid loses this election, who would replace him as the Senate majority leader? If the Democrats retain control of the Senate, the two most frequently mentioned replacements are Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), two lawmakers who have sought major reforms of the H-1B program. What happens if the Democrats lose the Senate? Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), one of the sharpest critics in Congress of the visa program, would likely gain prominence. Grassley has co-sponsored H-1B visa reform legislation with Durbin. The tech lobby might get help from Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO, if she wins her race against Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer in California. That contest is considered close, with Boxer apparently holding a small lead in pre-election polling.

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