A few hot items on the Bridge front:

1. Sen. Cornyn yesterday offered the bridge amendment.

SA 2339. Mr. CORNYN (for himself and Mr. Enzi, Mr. Gregg, Mr. Smith, Mr. Sununu, Mr. Coleman, and Mr. Voinovich) submitted an amendment intended to be proposed to amendment SA 2327 proposed by Mr. Kennedy to the bill H.R. 2669.

The amendment, which would have solved retrogression for Schedule A workers, was ruled out of order by the Chair of the Committee, after a Motion by Sen. Durbin (D-IL) and a vote more-or-less on party lines. This is hopefully just a procedural slowdown. HLG is aware that alternative procedural options are still being considered.

The amendment also called for a one-time increase in H1 visas, which seemed to be the reason for the amendment’s defeat.

2. Washington DC meetings.

The Coalition to Improve Healthcare Staffing is having a meeting in Washington DC on Monday at 9AM. HLG will be in attendance along with about 10-15 healthcare facilities, staffing companies, lobbyists and other lawyers. Immediately thereafter we have all scheduled meetings with Senators and Representatives to continue to stress the urgency of the issue. Many, such as Sen. Cornyn and his co-sponsors, are hearing the call (as evidenced by the amendment offering).

3. What you can do.

If anyone lives in these Senators’ jurisdictions, please call their offices and thank them for sponsoring the amendment, and encourage them to keep pushing for this amendment.

If you live in the jurisdiction of those who voted against the amendment, please call them and encourage them of the urgent need for foreign trained nurses and PTs. Telephone is the best way to make your voice heard. Here is the link to the Senators’ phone numbers and contact info.

See comments for the roll call of votes (the YEAS were the people who helped us, the NAYS were the people who hurt us).