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.