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House GOP Immigration Bill Fails, Strengthens Schumer's Hand House GOP Immigration Bill Fails, Strengthens Schumer's Hand

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Leadership

House GOP Immigration Bill Fails, Strengthens Schumer's Hand

The House today voted down a Republican bill to create a new green card category for foreigners who have received doctorate and master's degrees from U.S. universities in science, technology, engineering and math 257 to 158. (The bill needed a two-thirds vote to pass.)

The bill's failure could force sponsor Republican House Judiciary Committee Lamar Smith back to the negotiating table with Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer.

Smith broke off negotiations over a bicameral, bipartisan bill last month and introduced his own bill this week in what Democrats viewed as an attempt to increase his negotiating leverage and please the tech community, who has been clamoring for more high-skilled visas.

A senior Schumer aide said that the New York Democrat thinks his negotiations with Smith, which had been close to closing a deal, could be quickly resumed and a bipartisan alternative could be crafted in time for the lame duck.

UPDATE: Schumer released this statement:

Given this failed vote in the House, we urge Chairman Smith to return to the negotiating table. A bipartisan compromise can easily be ready for the lame duck session. There is too broad a consensus in favor of this policy to settle for gridlock.

This post was originally published at 5:29 p.m.

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