Let Congress Know That It's Time To Pass Startup Act 2.0

from the just-pass-it dept

For years now, we've been pointing out the ridiculous situation that the US has with denying visas to entrepreneurs. Over and over again, research has shown how skilled immigrants starting companies in the US help create new jobs. So we were excited earlier this year when plans for a Startup Act were presented in the Senate. Some aspects of that were taken care of by the JOBS Act, which came a month or so later, but key issues concerning startup visas and entrepreneurs still need to be addressed... and thankfully, Senators Moran, Warner, Coons and Rubio recently introduced the updated Startup Act 2.0. And, yesterday, Representative Michael Grimm, along with seven other House colleagues, introduced a the House version.

There's no way around it. This bill makes sense. In fact, looking around to see if anyone is arguing against the bill, the only thing I could find was a column at HuffPo arguing that Startup Act 2.0 Is Embarrassing. I was curious why the author would think so... and it turns out his reason is that it's embarrassing that we actually need a law for this, in this day and age, when what's in there should have been in place decades ago:
So why do I hate the Startup Act 2.0? Because it's embarrassing.

As a business owner and an American I'm embarrassed that such a fuss is being made over something that has been needed for so long and everyone agrees is necessary. That will clearly help this country over the long term by keeping those people who our own universities educated here, where many of these students want to be, rather than forcing them to leave. As a small business owner it seems so fundamentally right that it's unbelievable that these rules weren't changed decades ago. I hate that.

I also hate that we're celebrating the "bipartisanship" of the proposal. "I would guess that 80 percent of my colleagues in Congress would agree with the visa provisions in this legislation," says one of the bill's sponsors, Senator Jerry Moran. "And what I would encourage is that we not take the attitude or approach that unless we do everything, we can't do anything." With all that Congress has not accomplished during their past few sessions, we're applauding them for agreeing on something so fundamentally obvious and right? And who are the 20% of those that would oppose something like this? I hate that we have elected representatives that actually think this way. It's embarrassing.
And that's why the damn thing just needs to get passed. There's no reason to bicker around it. There's no reason to argue. Congress just needs to pass it.

But, of course, this is Congress that we're talking about, and they might not pass it because actually doing something useful is apparently not in their job description. However, one thing that is clear is that Congress does care about jobs -- and there's no question that startups create jobs. Research has shown that most of the net new jobs in the US have been created by startups over the past few decades. And, Congress is finally waking up and willing to hear from the startup community about what will help them create more jobs.

Our friends over at Engine have created an easy way to contact your representative to let them know that it's time to finally pass this bill and help entrepreneurs create more startups, and help those startups create more jobs. And, while you're at it, you should join Engine, as well, in order to keep on top of these things -- and help get your voice heard by Congress.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Alana (profile), Jun 6th, 2012 @ 2:51pm

    I wonder how bills like these have a chance of passing when Congress seems more interested in *stopping* startups at the whim of the entertainment industries with bills like SOPA/PIPA, but -yes-. This needs to be passed. It might restore a little bit of faith I have for the government.

     

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  2.  
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    Irving, Jun 6th, 2012 @ 3:19pm

    You forget, this is government

    Nothing gets passed until it's been paid for, no matter how good it may be.

    Damn pirate citizens wanting good laws for free.......

     

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  3.  
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    Chosen Reject (profile), Jun 6th, 2012 @ 3:53pm

    I'm embarrassed that such a fuss is being made over something that has been needed for so long and everyone agrees is necessary. ... And who are the 20% of those that would oppose something like this?
    My guess is that no one opposes the measure itself. They probably oppose the idea that such a wonderful-sure-to-pass bill could get passed without them having the opportunity to put a rider in it.

     

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  4.  
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    gorehound (profile), Jun 6th, 2012 @ 4:18pm

    Re: You forget, this is government

    They may just make a big argument out of it and then not pass it or they might just try to add the pork on and then not pass it.
    even if it passes my opinion of Washington will not change one bit.I will still go on hating this Government.
    The next 15 or so years will be very interesting.

     

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  5.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Jun 6th, 2012 @ 4:24pm

    Re: You forget, this is government

    "Nothing gets passed until it's been paid for, no matter how good it may be."

    No, it's not that...

    If it's a good idea, the government won't pass it. If it's a TERRIBLE idea, they'll be behind it.

    Like in 1999 when they repealed Glass-Steagle. "Sure, let's take away protections that keep the economy from crashing horribly. What could POSSIBLY go wrong?"

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2012 @ 4:42pm

    Re:

    Or the 20% opposing would be the MPAA/RIAA.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2012 @ 5:07pm

    The text of the bill is available at:

    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/s3217/text

    The concept being discussed is one that is hard to disagree with, but as with any legislation the devil is always in the details.

    For example, one provision that struck me as odd concerns grants to universities in support of tech transfer activities. What this has to do with immigration eludes me, not to mention that it provides additional funding support for Bayh-Dole activities.

    Another that struck me as odd is the section regarding "Immigrant Entrepreneurs". In my very general vernacular, it suggests to me that such persons get one bite at the apple, and if it fails (as most startups do) then the person may be shown the door. This does seem a bit shortsighted.

    Just my view, but this bill needs to be amended extensively if its "concept" is the ultimate goal. Right now I does seem to fall quite short of the mark.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2012 @ 5:07pm

    The text of the bill is available at:

    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/s3217/text

    The concept being discussed is one that is hard to disagree with, but as with any legislation the devil is always in the details.

    For example, one provision that struck me as odd concerns grants to universities in support of tech transfer activities. What this has to do with immigration eludes me, not to mention that it provides additional funding support for Bayh-Dole activities.

    Another that struck me as odd is the section regarding "Immigrant Entrepreneurs". In my very general vernacular, it suggests to me that such persons get one bite at the apple, and if it fails (as most startups do) then the person may be shown the door. This does seem a bit shortsighted.

    Just my view, but this bill needs to be amended extensively if its "concept" is the ultimate goal. Right now I does seem to fall quite short of the mark.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2012 @ 5:31pm

    Let congress know it's time to force Mike to declare himself as a lobbyist.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2012 @ 8:13pm

    Re:

    Yes, there are obviously some here who do not like Mr. Masnick being criticized, but for a site that espouses "free speech" the ability to have a comment flagged, and thus hidden, cuts in the opposite direction.

     

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  11.  
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    rain day, Jun 6th, 2012 @ 10:27pm

    a Startup Act

    Sadly, even if this bill is passed, startup companies will still have a bumpy road. Until we address the problem of blood-sucking-patent-troll/extortionist/parasites, new businesses will be smothered long before they can grow to become stable employers.

    Lodsys, Intellectual Vultures...er...Ventures, Mosaid, etc., will suck the life out of their victims in the cause of protecting IP (Intellectual Poverty?).

    The US Patent Office, and the Courts in the Eastern District of Texas have a lot to answer for, and no progress will be made until the current patent mess is resolved.

    Encouraging entrepreneurs from other countries to start new businesses in the US is like inviting lambs to lunch with the Wolves.

     

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  12.  
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    Loki, Jun 7th, 2012 @ 12:59am

    I don't understand why this bill has not yet passed comes as a surprise to anyone.

    Clearly, the entertainment, banking, and/or oil industries have not yet authorized Congress to do so (most likely because they have not figured out how to maximize their cuts of the profits yet).

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2012 @ 1:52am

    Re: Re:

    I always read the flagged comments! Some of them are comedy gold!

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2012 @ 2:03am

    Re: Re:

    I think that while we've all agreed that as much as severely punishing people for being assholes is uncalled for, free speech is not a licence to be a jerk and make blanket, unsupported accusations. Flagging comments is merely what such people deserve.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2012 @ 3:42am

    Re: Re: Re:

    They're an intentional invoking of the Streisand Effect.

     

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  16.  
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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Jun 7th, 2012 @ 4:22am

    Re: Re:

    Yes, there are obviously some here who do not like Mr. Masnick being criticized
    Criticize him all you like. Bring supporting information and be eloquent and I might agree with you. Make it a pointless and personal attack with no value and I reserve the right not to have to look at it. I'd love to have a treeing function that would allow the collapse of a whole thread or sub-thread so I can skip some of the pointless off-topic arguments sometimes. It's not like the comments get removed so "free speech" is hardly being stifled is it? Look, it's right there available at the click of a mouse just like happens on many forum systems with threads. To paraphrase someone else here, because you have a right to espouse a different opinion doesn't mean you have the right to say anything you want without consequence.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2012 @ 9:40am

    To 14 and 16:

    This being a "private" site, the First Amendment obviously is not applicable.

    Nevertheless, for a site that literally screams "You can't do that. It is a violation of free speech and clearly censorship.", the inclusion of the noted feature on the site does seem to be somewhat hypocritical.

    Just like one can always change a channel or refuse to read a screed, the very same ability pertains here.

    It may not be First Amendment censorship, but it is censorship nonetheless.

     

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  18.  
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    MahaliaShere (profile), Jun 7th, 2012 @ 9:55am

    Re: Re: What it actually is

    Techdirt sees trolling as damage and routes around it.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2012 @ 11:51am

    What makes entrepreneurs so special that they can simply bypass our normal immigration procedures?

    Or is this yet another recognition that as long as you have money, the rules don't apply?

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2012 @ 4:34pm

    Because if it's anything this country needs, it's another law. We don't have enough laws, and we can never have too many. Right?

     

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  21.  
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    desi dhakan, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 7:53am

    Re:

    A lot of immigrants work as research students or research professors in the Universities. When they patent ideas based on research money gained while working in the university, the University also owns the patent.
    Now most universities have tech transfer offices to facilitate forming new business with the patents or enabling existing business to license the patents. But not all universities have tech transfer offices.
    Sounds like this bill helps with that situation which should definitely be helpful.
    Note this is not a pure immigration bill, it is a small business start up creation bill. Immigrant students and researches happen to create a lot of patents and new ideas, hence the inclusion of immigration issues.

     

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  22.  
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    desi dhakan, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 7:58am

    Re: a Startup Act

    They own the patent, they own the complete right to earn license money on the patent as well. I own one patent and hope to have one more soon. If a company commercializes a product based on my patent, I would prefer they strike a licensing deal with me and pay royalties, because its I came up with the idea and was granted a patent for it...

     

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