According to the Associated Press, a Senate-passed measure to add more visas for foreign workers in high-tech was dropped from a budget bill that passed the House early Monday, disappointing high-tech and manufacturing firms in search of skilled workers.
The Senate plan would have allowed 30,000 more H1-B visas each year. It also would have increased fees for those visas to help trim the budget deficit.
Congress capped the six-year H-1B visas at 65,000 per year in 2004, and that cap has already been reached for the 2006 fiscal year that began Oct. 1.
Critics contend the visas give foreigners high-level jobs that should go to American workers. House and Senate negotiators left it out of the final version of a $39.7 billion federal budget bill that passed the House 212-206 and is expected to get a Senate vote later today.