Today, Senator Charles Schumer popped up to New York City for a visit to General Assembly and an announcement: Tomorrow he plans to introduce new legislation to the Senate–the snappily-named BRAINS Act–in an attempt to help alleviate the tech talent crunch by making it easier for startups to hire foreign-born workers.
“The bill will fix America’s broken high-skilled immigration problem,” he promised, by providing 55,000 new green cards available annually for foreign students graduating from US universities with advanced STEM degrees.
Everywhere he goes, said Senator Schumer, business leaders cite the lack of technical talent as their number one challenge. “With the introduction and hopefully the passage of the BRAINS Act, we’re going to move closer to ensuring a more vibrant future for Americans not even born yet,” he promised.
Detractors of the the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) may have reason to celebrate, albeit momentarily. According to Rep. Darrell Issa (CA-Rep.), an opponent of the bills, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has assured him that SOPA will not move forward in Congress until “a consensus” has been reached.
Rep. Issa also said that a hearing regarding SOPA’s impact on cybersecurity scheduled for today has been postponed. On Friday, Rep. Lamar Smith (TX-Rep.), chief sponsor of SOPA, said he would take out a portion of the law that would allow the Justice Dept. to seek court orders requiring American ISPs to block subscriber access to foreign websites accused of infringing copyright, reports PC World.
Although Mr. Cantor’s camp has yet to issue a public statement, Rep. Issa, who is pushing for alternate legislation called the OPEN Act claims:
Texas congressman Rep. Lamar Smith has become a national household name, rare for obscure politician such as himself. It’s because he’s the author behind the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act, better known as SOPA, which if passed, could give our government the power to shut down any website they find in violation of online piracy laws.
Including, it would seem, his own.