Election could mean movement on high-skill immigration, copyright
Expect debates on cybersecurity, spectrum and privacy in Congress in 2013
IDG News Service - Tuesday's election leaves President Barack Obama in the White House and maintains the balance of power in Congress. In many longstanding technology debates, policy experts see little movement forward, although lawmakers may look for compromises on a handful of issues.
U.S. voters on Tuesday again elected a divided Congress with Republicans in control of the House of Representatives and Democrats the majority in the Senate. Obama and some members of Congress may push for immigration reform, including an expansion of high-skill immigration programs, and expect some lawmakers to push for online copyright enforcement provisions, although likely to be different than the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) that failed to pass earlier this year.
But tech-savvy voters should expect a whole lot of nothing on several other issues. "If people vote for the status quo they shouldn't be surprised if they get it," Thomas Lenard, president of free-market think tank the Technology Policy Institute (TPI), said in an email. "Only thing that has changed is that Obama doesn't have to run for re-election.A Whether that means he'll move toward the center, I don't know."
Here are some tech-related issues to watch out for in coming months:
Immigration: Several large tech companies, including Microsoft, Intel and Hewlett-Packard, have called for an expansion of the H-1B high-skill visa program and a loosening of restrictions on L-1 visas, used for intra-company transfers of employees from foreign offices to the U.S. Microsoft, in September, advocated new $10,000 H-1B visas, with additional funds used for new education programs.
Immigration reform, addressing both high-skill and illegal immigration, may be an area where the Obama administration and Congress can find compromise, some tech policy experts said. Immigration reform should be among Obama's top policy priorities in 2013, said Kevin Richards, senior vice president for federal government affairs at TechAmerica, a trade group.
After the budget deficit, "I think that immigration reform is the new big-ticket issue for the president," Richards said.
Still, lawmakers have been reluctant to deal with high-skill immigration separate from illegal immigration, and illegal immigration remains a difficult, hot-button issue in Congress. While Congress may move forward on high-skill immigration, the "status quo in the White House could worsen prospects, Arlene Holen, a senior fellow at TPI, said in an email. "Despite claiming the importance of high-skilled immigration, they have been making it much harder administratively to get visas."
Copyright enforcement: Huge online protests in late 2011 and early this year sunk SOPA and PIPA, but expect the Motion Picture Association of America, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other backers of stronger copyright enforcement to push for revamped legislation in 2013.
- Silicon Valley's 19 Coolest Places to Work
- Is Windows 8 Development Worth the Trouble?
- 8 Books Every IT Leader Should Read This Year
- 10 Hot Hadoop Startups to Watch
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Manufacturing Outlook: Improving time to market, operational effectiveness and innovation in a highly competitive environment An enterprise project portfolio management solution can help manufacturers position themselves in the new competitive landscape.
- Time-to-Market: The Need for Speed in the Automotive Industry Bringing new vehicles to market quickly has never been more challenging. To bring new models to market on-time and on budget, automakers need...
- Patient Portals: A Platform for Connecting Communities of Care Connecting patient health data across the care continuum is essential to achieve improved care, increased access to personal health records and lowered costs.
- 3 Ways Clinicians Can Leverage a Patient Portal to Craft a Healthcare Community With a bevy of vendors offering patient portal solutions, it can be challenging for a hospital to know where to start. Fortunately, YourCareCommunity...
- Make or Break: New Auto Products Must Go To Market On Time This Webcast quantifies the value of time to market for the auto industry and highlights how Primavera Enterprise Portfolio Management can help organizations.
- Top 4 Digital Signage Fails Join RMG Networks for a look at four of the most common reasons digital signage fails in corporate businesses. Learn about strategies to... All Government/Industries White Papers | Webcasts