Bills to improve legal immigration and to repeal military spouse widow tax gain more than 290 cosponsors, pass House floor vote

WASHINGTON —  Today, Monday, June 15, 2019, Problem Solvers Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Tom Reed and Josh Gottheimer issued the below statement following the passage of two House bills via the newly implemented “Consensus Calendar.”

H.R. 1044 – Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, led by Rep. Zoe Lofgren, will reduce visa backlogs for high-skilled immigrants and improve our legal immigration process.

H.R.553 – Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act, led by Reps. Joe Wilson and John Yarmuth, will repeal the “widow’s tax,” so surviving spouses of service members who pass away during active duty will not experience a deduction of benefits.

“Last January, members of the Problem Solvers Caucus fought for meaningful changes to the House rules, including ensuring that when a bill receives 290 co-sponsors it receives priority consideration on the House floor. Today, the American people are seeing the benefits of those rule changes as common-sense, broadly bipartisan bills are finally receiving the up or down vote they deserve on the floor. We would like to thank Representatives Wilson, Lofgren, and Yarmouth for their dedication to these bipartisan bills,” said Problem Solvers Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Tom Reed and Josh Gottheimer.

Under the new House rules, once a bill reaches 290 co-sponsors, a 25 legislative day clock will begin.  If the primary committee of jurisdiction does not report the bill out of committee by the end of the 25 legislative days, the legislation will be placed on the new “Consensus Calendar,” where it will remain until the bill is considered.  For every in-session week, after February 28th of the First Session and before September 30th of the Second Session, majority leadership will be required to bring at least one bill on the “Consensus Calendar” to the Floor for a vote.


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