U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) wants companies that recruit highly skilled foreign workers to follow new standards aimed at making it more difficult to exploit the visa program that allows them to work in the U.S.
Issa on Wednesday introduced legislation backed by multiple Democrats and Republicans that changes the requirements for the visa program known as H-1B, which was designed so foreign workers with specialty skills can fill jobs in the U.S. when qualified Americans aren't available.
The program is heavily used by technology companies, particularly in Silicon Valley, but Issa said the spirit of the program has been ignored by companies that replace Americans with workers from other countries whom they can pay less.
Bracing for an adversarial relationship with President-elect Donald Trump, the California Legislature has selected former U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. to serve as outside counsel to advise the state’s legal strategy against the incoming administration.
The unusual arrangement will give Holder, leading a team of attorneys from the firm Covington & Burling, a broad portfolio covering potential conflicts between California and the federal government. Former Los Angeles Rep. Howard Berman, a Democrat who is now a senior advisor to the firm, will also be part of the effort.
The initial three-month contract will cost $25,000 per month, shared by the state Senate and Assembly, according to the a copy of the engagement letter between the Legislature and the firm obtained by the Times.
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine), who has been investigated by the House Ethics Committee, was among the Republican members who defended an ultimately failed attempt this week to gut the committee.
An upcoming report from the committee will show Hunter used campaign funds to pay the $600 cost of flying a family rabbit, one of the expenses that is expected to surface as part of an ongoing review of his campaign spending.
The ethics office last year conducted a review of Hunter’s campaign expenses. Release of the ethics committee report was postponed in anticipation of the swearing in of the new Congress.
“What the report tries to get at is that the facts on the ground for a typical California family are really as bad as they’ve ever been in the state’s history,” said Ben Metcalf, director of the Department of Housing and Community Development.
California's 2018 race for governor may still be in its infancy, but the competition for campaign donations is well underway.
Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who launched his bid in January 2015, on Tuesday announced he raised $2.7 million during the second half of 2016. Newsom also reported having $11.5 million cash on hand, which includes money socked away in his old campaign account for lieutenant governor.