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  1. #1
    Senior Member zeezil's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Gates to speak to Congress

    Tuesday, March 11, 2008 - 12:27 PM PDT
    Gates to speak to Congress
    Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle)

    What do ya wanna bet that he'll be telling Congress that we need unlimited H-1B visas to keep the U.S. competitive in the world marketplace.

    Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft Corp., is expected to address the U.S. House Science and Technology Committee in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.

    It's expected to be Gates' last congressional testimony as chairman of the Redmond software giant (NASDAQ: MSFT) before he steps down this summer to devote more time to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, based in Seattle.

    Gates is expected to testify on "efforts needed to strengthen our country's competitiveness in the global marketplace, policies to encourage innovation and the role of technology in our economic growth," according to a statement from the office of U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash. ... =printable
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  2. #2
    Senior Member SOSADFORUS's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    Thats exactly what he is going there raise the H1B visa's but I think congress will think that over real good, at least they better with the loss of jobs in this country.

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  3. #3
    Senior Member zeezil's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Bill on Capitol Hill: Gates Wants Visas
    By DIBYA SARKAR – 8 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Bill Gates is coming back to Capitol Hill with the same wish list he's had for years: more visas for highly skilled workers, more math, science and engineering in schools and more money for technology investment.

    On Wednesday, Gates' scheduled testimony before the House Science and Technology Committee will amplify the call for major overhauls in education and immigration laws to help the U.S. technology industry stay competitive globally.

    Congress has heard the requests before, especially about increasing the cap on H1-B visas, which are granted to skilled foreign professionals. While a Microsoft spokesman said there's been a "real effort" by Congress and the Bush administration to move the ball forward on broad immigration reform, they have failed.

    Gates, who visits Washington about once a year, is also expected to meet privately with policy makers during his visit, said Jack Krumholtz, Microsoft Corp.'s managing director for government affairs. He declined to identify them.

    The Microsoft co-founder has long championed such reforms — especially raising H1-B visa cap — and made a similar case before a Senate committee a year ago.

    "We have to welcome the great minds in this world, not shut them out of our country," Gates said last year in testimony. "Unfortunately, our immigration policies are driving away the world's best and brightest precisely when we need them most."

    Krumholtz thinks the changing political climate makes for a more responsive audience this time around.

    "He sees this (appearance) as an opportunity in the political season ... to put out a call to both the Congress and to the current administration with an eye toward the new administration," Krumholtz said.

    Not everyone sees the climate as warming to Microsoft's position. Roger Kay, a technology analyst with Endpoint Technologies Associates, said an election year may be a difficult time to advance the issue, as it could be labeled a threat to American jobs. Democrats, relying on support from labor groups, might not want to push for legislation that lets more foreign professionals in this country.

    The hot-button issue for the technology industry has been to find high-skilled workers in the United States and overseas.

    The industry has long pushed for the H1-B visa cap to be raised from its current level of 65,000. In 2007, the quota was filled on the first day applications were accepted.

    Krumholtz, who expects the same thing to happen this year, said it's an issue on which Microsoft and its rivals, including Google Inc., Oracle Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc. and others agree. Microsoft last year wasn't able to get the visas for roughly a third of the people it had planned to hire, he added.

    Gates will also urge for educational reforms to encourage more students to get into math and science. Last year, Gates said American high schools have one of the lowest graduation rates among industrialized nations.

    "It's not an either or proposition," said Krumholtz. "We need to do both."

    But Gates will also touch on positive developments, such as a Philadelphia high school that focuses on using the latest technologies and another effort to provide tech skills to the U.S. work force, Krumholtz added.

    While Gates is expected to devote most of his time toward his philanthropic foundation starting in July, he will remain chairman of the company he founded.

    Krumholtz said he doesn't know what Gates plans to do in the future, "but I can speak to the fact that I know these are issues that he is very passionate about."

    He does know what Gates is doing one day into the future. On Thursday, he will deliver a keynote speech to a sold-out Northern Virginia Technology Council. ... AD8VBDTAO1
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