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Business coalition steps up campaign for more high-skilled work visas

March 27, 2008 Compete America, a coalition of businesses seeking more high-skilled work visas, Thursday will begin distributing mock H-1B lottery cards to Capitol Hill offices to call attention to the Homeland Security Department's system for meting them out. The scratch cards offer two options: "Sorry, you lose. Pack your bags and take ...

HHS report reignites fight over profit margins in Medicare

January 11, 2008 Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., and ranking member Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, Friday said they would seek information from the Department of Health and Human Services inspector general about fees that community pharmacies incur when distributing prescriptions through Medicare Part D. A new report from the department's OIG found ...

Senator probes HHS help line

November 16, 2007 Senate Aging Committee ranking member Gordon Smith, R-Ore., is on a campaign to improve telephone customer service at HHS. In preparation for an appearance by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Acting Administrator Kerry Weems before the committee, Smith conducted his own investigation of the service provided by 1-800-MEDICARE, CMS's ...

Immigration bill blocked as Senate undecideds join foes

June 28, 2007 The Senate on Thursday dealt a fatal blow to President Bush's immigration plan, as a coalition of Republicans and Democrats refused to go along with their leaders' pleas to move forward with the politically explosive bill. Supporters fell 14 votes short of the 60 needed to limit debate. The vote ...

Immigration measure clears one hurdle, but others await

June 26, 2007 Legislation to overhaul the country's immigration laws passed a key procedural hurdle Tuesday, as the Senate voted 64-35 to move to the bill and put it on track for a final vote later this week. The legislation, backed by the White House and most Democrats, must clear at least two ...

Senate may vote on immigration reform measure Friday

June 25, 2007 Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., intends to file a second cloture petition Tuesday on a sweeping immigration measure, setting up a Thursday vote to limit debate. If that motion is approved, a final vote would occur Friday, possibly after a "vote-a-rama" on amendments, Democratic leadership aides said Monday. The ...

Border bill backers seek boost in enforcement provisions

June 21, 2007 Senate negotiators of a compromise immigration bill are writing a catchall amendment, sponsored by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., to bolster enforcement provisions of the bill, including a more robust "touchback" requirement for illegal immigrants. Republicans outside the negotiating team are asking that Graham's amendment, as well as a few others, ...

DHS chief opposes alternative approach to worker eligibility checks

June 21, 2007 The administration is urging the architects of a comprehensive immigration bill to reject an amendment on mandatory employment verification that both the business community and immigrant advocates support. In a letter sent Tuesday to Senate Judiciary Immigration Subcommittee Chairman Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and Judiciary ranking member Arlen Specter, R-Pa., Homeland ...

Senators eye funding to save immigration reform bill

June 14, 2007 Senate negotiators of a broad immigration bill have all but scrapped the idea of an emergency supplemental appropriations bill for border security in favor of an amendment to the bill that would provide $4.4 billion in mandatory funds immediately upon enactment. Republicans outside the negotiating team are saying they would ...

GOP dissenters contribute to immigration deal’s collapse

June 8, 2007 Senators pledged to resurrect the immigration compromise and engaged in finger-pointing Friday over who was to blame for the bill's sudden demise. After the Senate rejected cloture Thursday night, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he has no intention of bringing it back before next week's debate on an energy ...