Legislative Update: bill text with simple extension

UPDATE: See the post RC Program Extended to 9/30/2016

Last night Congressional leaders finalized the text of Senate amendment to H.R. 2029 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016 [Consolidated Appropriations and Tax Measures] (aka the omnibus appropriations bill, the spending bill, the funding bill, the spending deal, the spending package). Now the language is set, and we wait for Congress to vote and the President to sign. We’ve expected EB-5 to be one passenger on this omnibus, bringing Regional Center reauthorization and likely substantive EB-5 program changes as discussed in the discussion draft legislation put together by Judiciary Committee leaders and circulated last week by Senators Leahy and Grassley. I panicked at first when I downloaded the bill and didn’t find language from the EB-5 discussion draft or matches to EB-5-related search terms, but I finally located an EB-5 mention on PDF page 708 of the omnibus, as follows:

SEC. 575. Section 610(b) of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993 (8 U.S.C. 1153 note) shall be applied by substituting ‘‘September 30, 2016’’ for the date specified in section 106(3) of the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2016 (Public Law 114–53).

That’s all I can find — a proposed simple extension of the Regional Center program authorization for the reminder of the fiscal year, with no other EB-5 program changes. (As a reminder, Public Law 114-53 on pdf page 9 extends the Regional Center program to September 30, 2015, and  Section 610(b) of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993 (Public Law 102-395) (pdf page 47) is the act that established the regional center program.)

I keep an eye on The Hill and Congressional sites for updates on what’s happening with the legislation. Stop-gap measures may continue to be passed as needed to give the government a few more days of funding (and the regional center program and other programs a few more days of authorization) while our representatives take more time to read the enormous appropriations bill and make up their minds. They are reportedly likely to pass the bill, eventually (though the provisions include some doozies), as a majority do not want a government shutdown and do want a Christmas vacation. Meanwhile, the Regional Center program is still authorized (extended together with federal funding through stopgap measures), but rather in suspense while we wait to see what happens with the appropriations bill. The State Department January Visa Bulletin, for example, has not authorized any visa numbers for regional center investments, pending legislation to extend the program. Assuming that the bill does pass, people offering EB-5 investments still shouldn’t relax assuming no further change until the next regional center program expiration at September 30, 2016. Congress could still pass standalone EB-5 legislation and USCIS could still come out with new regulations any time, and the intense discussions around this year’s reauthorization show commitment to change on all sides. I would especially expect an increase to the minimum investment amount and additional integrity measures sooner rather than later.

About Suzanne (www.lucidtext.com)
Lucid Professional Writing provides writing and editing services for businesses and scholars, and specializes in assisting clients to prepare business plans for filing with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

5 Responses to Legislative Update: bill text with simple extension

  1. uhcrc says:

    Suzanne … I don’t know how you find time to keep us in the loop, but thank you!!!

  2. PBS reported about 10 days ago that Congress passed a bill raising the minimum investment to $800,000.00?
    Was that an erroneous report?

  3. Jeff says:

    Too bad..the Leahy/Grassley bill is a good one for the program. Weeds out the corruption.

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