Startup Act Gains Momentum

At an event in Washington this week, Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Mark Warner (D-VA) announced their intention to combine their Startup Act proposal with a legislative measure promoted by Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Marco Rubio (R-FL), known as the Agree act. According to Sen. Moran, the revised measure (‘Startup 2”) may include the permanent startup tax credits previously proposed by Sen. Coons.

The Senators, who spoke at a Wilson Center forum on the Startup Act, added that their efforts are being strongly supported by Steve Case, co-founder of AOL and currently a member of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. They added that at this time the bill has no House companion, but that they have been communicating with House leadership in hopes that one will be introduced.

Addressing one of the more controversial aspects of the bill – the suggested reforms to immigration policy – Senator Moran said that these changes are crucial to create the proper environment that will help the U.S. win the global battle for talent: “Some say that for the bill to pass we have to take out the section that deals with visas, but retaining foreign talent is the single most important component of the bill.”

Senator Warner noted that the bill proposes to create a new visa for 75,000 “immigrant entrepreneurs” who hold an H-1B visa or have completed graduate level work in a STEM field, and who during the 1-year period after the new visa is issued register at least one new business entity which employs at least two full-time, non-family member employees, and invests or raises capital investments of at least $100,000.

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