House passes STEM Jobs Act

Nov. 30, 2012 at 2:58 PM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- The U.S. House Friday passed visa reform legislation that creates a new type of visa for foreign students with science, technology, engineering or math degrees.

The STEM Jobs Act was approved 245-139, with two dozen Democrats joining Republicans in approving the measure, The Hill reported. The bill now goes to the Senate.

President Barack Obama already has said he opposes the measure because he would rather work on broader immigration reform legislation.

Republicans said the measure would help create jobs.

"For each person we welcome to America with one of these high degrees, we create jobs, net jobs," Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said, adding it would keep talented students in the country. "We create opportunity for expansion of the kinds of businesses that in fact Americans are prepared to work in, but often we do not have enough engineers, scientists or math professionals."

Democrats argue the measure would reduce visa availability overall.

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