The United States Congress on Friday passed a bill that would disqualify companies that outsource their call center operations from availing federal grants and loans from the government.
A report on The Asian Age revealed that the bill, titled the US Call Center and Consumer Protection Act, was passed by Democrat Gene Green and Republican David McKinley.
The bill is similar to an earlier bill that closely regulates call centers and enforces them to disclose their locations to customers. An additional condition of the bill is to require companies to allow its customers to be serviced by someone based out of the U.S. when they demand it.
Both lawmakers maintained that the goal of the bill is to provide jobs to American citizens, and protect the latter’s rights as consumers. “Our number one priority in Congress is protecting and creating American jobs,” McKinley said.
“Unfortunately, we have seen call center jobs moved overseas to India, the Philippines, and other countries. This bipartisan legislation will protect call center workers in Texas and throughout the country, and American consumers from unfair treatment,” Green was quoted as saying by The Asian Age.
The bill came on the heels of US President Donald Trump’s controversial migrant ban and call for merit-based immigration, which, as the executive emphasized, focuses on accepting “highly-skilled” immigrants in specialized fields such as technology.
On Friday, US immigration officials stopped offering its “premium processing” service for expediting H-1B visas to clear existing backlogs, said a report on The Financial Times. The government allows 85,000 H-1B visas to be granted annually, but applications typically exceed this number.
Exactly the same time last year, Rep. Darrell Issa accused Southern California Edison (SCE Corp.) of “misusing” the H-1B visa program in outsourcing its IT jobs. The company was intending to expand its H-1B program at the time.
“This appears to be an example of precisely what the H-1B visa is not intended to be a program to simply replace American workers en masse with cheap labor from overseas,” Issa was quoted as saying by the Los Angeles Times.
Issa’s staff was said to be “reworking” the 2013 bill, according to the Times. As of this writing, the bipartisan H-1B visa reform bill was reintroduced in congress by Congressmen Bill Pascrell, Dave Brat, Ro Khanna and Paul Gosar, The Economic Times reported.
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