Sep 18, 2019

Sen. Mike Lee pushing for vote on ending country-specific green card limits

Mike Lee. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) will use a "unanimous consent" procedure this week to try to get the Senate to vote on a bill that would end limits on the number of green cards that can be given to high-skilled immigrants from any one country, Lee's office has confirmed to Axios.

The big picture: Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) had concerns about the bill, which held up Lee's earlier attempt to bring it to a vote before the August recess. The bill would allow many Indian and Chinese nationals who have been working in the U.S. on high-skilled visas like H-1Bs to obtain green cards faster. Advocates who have been working on eliminating the per-country caps for years tell Axios they are hopeful it will pass. The bill also would have to get through the House, which passed a similar bill in July.

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Under new bill, states and towns could set their own drone rules

Photo: Matthew Horwood/Getty

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) plans to introduce a bill that would assign states, cities, and Native American tribes sweeping new powers to set rules for small, low-flying drones, and give property owners more control over what happens immediately over their land.

Why it matters: Lee's proposal would establish new clear rules for the first 200 feet above ground, and override Federal Aviation Administration concerns about a "patchwork quilt" of regulations that differ from one locale to another.

Go deeperArrowOct 15, 2019

U.S. green economy generates $1.3 trillion and sustains 9.5 million full-time jobs

Wind turbines in Texas. Photo: Paul Harris/Getty Images

The U.S. green economy generates $1.3 trillion in annual sales revenue and sustains 9.5 million full-time jobs, according to a study from University College London published on Tuesday.

Why it matters: These numbers make it possible to compare the green sector to the traditional fossil fuel related industry and determine its impact on the economy.

Go deeperArrowOct 16, 2019

Senate unanimously calls for Trump to release Ukraine whistleblower complaint

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The Senate voted via unanimous consent on Tuesday on a resolution calling for the Trump administration to release to the Senate Intelligence Committee a whistleblower complaint that allegedly involves President Trump and Ukraine.

Why it matters: The resolution is non-binding, but it's a rare show of bipartisanship on an issue that threatens to spark an official impeachment proceeding in the House. The House will vote on a similar resolution on Wednesday. The Senate Intelligence Committee has opened a bipartisan investigation into the complaint and is currently in talks to bring in the whistleblower for a closed-door testimony.

Keep ReadingArrowSep 24, 2019