Draft Legislation from Republican Negotiators
March 9, 2018
Dear IIUSA Member,

Yesterday IIUSA met with Republican negotiators and received draft legislative text that is being proposed for inclusion on the March 23rd Congressional omnibus package. IIUSA will be providing Republican negotiators our preliminary comments by close of business today. Please review the draft and send advocacy@iiusa.org your thoughts as soon as possible.

We expect the House to vote the omnibus out of the chamber as early as March 16, allowing the Senate the entire week of March 19 to pass the measure before government funding expires on Friday, March 23. It remains unclear when the House will release its text and estimates range from as early as this weekend to as late as mid-next week on March 14. EB-5 will need to be included on the House omnibus for it to be considered by the Senate. This makes Congress's deadline for finalizing EB-5 legislation to be considered for this omnibus later next week, but our deadline for comments for Republican negotiators is close of business today.
Omnibus as a Vehicle for EB-5

The core function of the omnibus is to fund the government through FY18, which ends on September 30, 2018. However, as one of only a handful of “must pass” bills, legislators are looking to incorporate a host of policy "riders" onto the omnibus. Legislative reform of the EB-5 program is an item that could be included in the omnibus package. This moment is a real opportunity for a long-term EB-5 reauthorization to be included on an omnibus. Opportunities to be a part of a major piece of legislation like the FY18 omnibus will more challenging if not impossible as the year progresses and draws closer to the mid-term election. As lawmakers turn to the 2018 midterm elections, fewer legislative vehicles will be available in an increasingly difficult political environment. It is likely that another omnibus will not be available to ride until the 116th Congress in 2019 - which may be too late in the face of regulations.

IIUSA is working closely with EB-5 champions in both chambers to ensure that the program remains a top priority for lawmakers when they are considering what to include in the omnibus. The EB-5 industry, led by IIUSA, is working diligently to persuade legislators that only a 6 year reauthorization and reform package will provide the certainty the industry needs to continue to support economic growth in across the nation. 

With limited “must pass” legislative vehicles paired with an environment that will become progressively partisan as the year unfolds, IIUSA recognizes that the current debate over what policy provisions to include in the FY18 omnibus spending package provides one of the few, if not the only, opportunity to secure a long-term EB-5 reauthorization that provides certainty and the ability for industry to focus on economic development and job creation. Your membership is greatly valued and we look forward to hearing your thoughts on the draft legislation as we develop our response to key legislators.

Yours in service,
Peter D. Joseph
Executive Director

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