However; to protect all the people who are still there then they should revoke the 140 for people who have left so there is less burden to prove ability to pay in case uscis adds up all cases together. I work on a lot of these cases and they are pretty complicated to solve.
There was a case which we termed "baltimore" (mainly because it was decided by baltimore local office); essentially AAO said that a person can use ac21 within the same company (ie., for another job, another work location, etc.). That opened the door which some smart ass employers started to exploit. If one of their employees was eligible for ac21 they justified it by revoking 140 (even though person is still workin with them) and doing labor substitution for another candidate by thinking that first person is protected and i can use it for second person.
From a purety point of view; in your scenario since there is no labor substitution then it shouldn't be a problem; however, in pre labor substitution days if you went back to work for the company in ac21 and they used the labor for someone else then it would pose some challenges.
UN - As you are also a beneficiary of AC21 - what is your take on wrongful denials of 485 for AC21 cases that need to be resolved by MTR? Is it a training issue?
wallpaper Beach Housing Development
Let�s say you have a small kid and you are living in an apartment, after 10 years you save enough money to buy a big house and you then eventually you buy it. Then you ask the your kid �do you like the house?�. He will reply �it�s very nice dad, but can you give you give my childhood now?.�. Go figure out guys. If you are not planning on going back for a very long time then at-least get a life in the country you reside and when the housing market is good.
Where do you get the idea that the child will loose the life in apartments and then get back after buying a house?:confused: It would be nice if we can buy the house on the day one when we join the job. Or even nicer if our parents got us a house in US before we came here:D. Unfortunately there are circumstances that prevent us buying a house. The biggest one is this bubble and the madness of multiple bidding that insanely pushed the real estate prices, all the while the realtors and mortgage brokers where making 300K or 500K yearly income selling shoe boxes for half a million and generating slogans like "you will be priced out forever", "they are not manufacturing any more land", "housing is always a good investment", "renting is throwing away money".
One Mr. Sunny Surya, and one Mr. XYZ. both landed in the USA in 1998. Mr. Sunny Surya goes to school, works hard and gets his masters in 2000. works for a good reputed company gathers experience and then in 2003 files for labor. PD 2003. Since he does not have experience in the USA (His present experience with the sponsoring company is not counted). He would have to change his job to be considered for EB2. So files in EB3. Mean time MR. XYZ has changed multiple jobs and is suddenly eligible for EB2 and files in JAN 2004. He is current and about to get his GC. Mr. Sunny Surya is contemplating changing his job and he is definately going to qualify for EB2. Mr XYZ tells Mr. Sunny - NO!. You cannot get in the EB2 with older PD. Get a 2008 PD.
2011 a new housing development
by clearing the mess out of Afganistan ,IRAQ and well sometime may be from IRAN ....
Why they are doing >>>> Why they are helping Israel and Attacking Countries which has vast muslim poulation and near to Israel ...Why not attacking Indonesia ,Malaysia ,Pakistan because the Bible has something like that
" Jews must have own land to have a Great ARMAGADEM WAR .When most of the jews will be defeated and killed ,few left will accept christanity. "
so how to achieve this . Please mind America is ruled by Conservative christian not by jews ...
Well read Bible and other books and you will able to judge .....
So I have tried to acknowledge two things " A country go for war when future is not safe" and America Need to keep Alive israel till the great ARMGADEM WAR " So you will say why america is havinng WAR "
Please note that Jews killed Jesus. This fact do not go well with conservative
I�ve heard some real whoppers in my life, but this one tops them all. I am sure your favroite movie is - Conspiracy Theory.
And he replied, "It was an ID Ten T Error."
A puzzled expression ran riot over Judy's face. "An ID Ten T Error? What's that ... in case I need to fix it again?"
He gave her a grin... "Haven't you ever heard of an ID Ten T Error before?"
"No," replied Judy.
"Write it down," he said, "and I think you'll figure it out."
(She wrote...) I D 1 0 T
2010 HOUSING DEVELOPMENT PVT.
I am sad to see people die because of war and terrorism. Let us pray for every one and ask God Guidance to stop the terrorism.
It appears that you arrived late on the scene. So let me assist you to catch-up. Soon you will see a post saying - which God should we ask for Guidance. Is it Hindu God or Muslim God of Christan God. As you know everybody have their own version of the God. Whom do you want us to ask for Guidance? Because if it is not my God, I don't want to ask God to stop terrorism.
What will you say to that? You see this is a no win situation, defining God in terms of a religion is now engraved in human genes. Mankind will most probably see a lot of people kill each other in the name of religion, and the few who will left out, at that time, will realize that this religion thing is all hoax. We have two options, one, to understand that religion has nothing to do with God, and two, wait for most of humanity to kill one another before reaching a conclusion that religion has nothing to do with God. Either way, we are all headed there.
God has already given us tools, wisdom, strength and resources to not fight. We all apply our wisdom to divide each other based on religion, color, race, gender etc etc etc. I don't know what more we can ask from God because he already gave us everything but we just don't want to use what God gave us. We all continue to fight, for which reason, for the reason we define as "fighting for God". Thats is absolutly absurd and frankly, I don't know what more we can ask from "God".
No matter how highly educated they are. Their basic nature remains the same. Every Muslim country u name it has a problem with either their neighbouts. They do not belive in harmony an co existance. surprisingly they also fight among themselves.
Read the link below on how mean they are.
Now this article states the Israel - Palestine conflict clearly.
God bless Israel. God has always been with Israel.
hair Community Housing Network
When USCIS can interpret so many things why cant they interpert to recapture unused visa numbers ?
I guess they will find some other way to mess up.
IV already met DOS, USCIS on visa recapture during our admin fix campaign. IV even met this official mentioned in the first post this thread in the letter. There was a long conversation with this official. IV even went higher up in the hierarchy of DOS to meet officials. Visa recapture needs to be done via a bill at this time.
The dwindling allure of building factories offshore (http://www.economist.com/node/18682182)
�WHEN clients are considering opening another manufacturing plant in China, I�ve started to urge them to consider alternative locations,� says Hal Sirkin of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). �Have they thought about Vietnam, say? Or maybe [they could] even try Made in USA?� When clients are American firms looking to build factories to serve American customers, Mr Sirkin is increasingly likely to suggest they stay at home, not for patriotic reasons but because the economics of globalisation are changing fast.
Labour arbitrage�taking advantage of lower wages abroad, especially in poor countries�has never been the only force pushing multinationals to locate offshore, but it has certainly played a big part. Now, however, as emerging economies boom, wages there are rising. Pay for factory workers in China, for example, soared by 69% between 2005 and 2010. So the gains from labour arbitrage are starting to shrink, in some cases to the point of irrelevance, according to a new study by BCG.
�Sometime around 2015, manufacturers will be indifferent between locating in America or China for production for consumption in America,� says Mr Sirkin. That calculation assumes that wage growth will continue at around 17% a year in China but remain relatively slow in America, and that productivity growth will continue on current trends in both countries. It also assumes a modest appreciation of the yuan against the dollar.
The year 2015 is not far off. Factories take time to build, and can carry on cranking out widgets for years. So firms planning today for production tomorrow are increasingly looking close to home. BCG lists several examples of companies that have already brought plants and jobs back to America. Caterpillar, a maker of vehicles that dig, pull or plough, is shifting some of its excavator production from abroad to Texas. Sauder, an American furniture-maker, is moving production back home from low-wage countries. NCR has returned production of cash machines to Georgia (the American state, not the country that is occasionally invaded by Russia). Wham-O last year restored half of its Frisbee and Hula Hoop production to America from China and Mexico.
BCG predicts a �manufacturing renaissance� in America. There are reasons to be sceptical. The surge of manufacturing output in the past year or so has largely been about recovering ground lost during the downturn. Moreover, some of the new factories in America have been wooed by subsidies that may soon dry up. But still, the new economics of labour arbitrage will make a difference.
Rather than a stampede of plants coming home, �higher wages in China may cause some firms that were going to scale back in the US to keep their options open by continuing to operate a plant in America,� says Gary Pisano of Harvard Business School. The announcement on May 10th by General Motors (GM) that it will invest $2 billion to add up to 4,000 jobs at 17 American plants supports Mr Pisano�s point. GM is probably not creating many new jobs but keeping in America jobs that it might otherwise have exported.
Even if wages in China explode, some multinationals will find it hard to bring many jobs back to America, argues Mr Pisano. In some areas, such as consumer electronics, America no longer has the necessary supplier base or infrastructure. Firms did not realise when they shifted operations to low-wage countries that some moves �would be almost irreversible�, says Mr Pisano.
Many multinationals will continue to build most of their new factories in emerging markets, not to export stuff back home but because that is where demand is growing fastest. And companies from other rich countries will probably continue to enjoy the opportunity for labour arbitrage for longer than American ones, says Mr Sirkin. Their labour costs are higher than America�s and will remain so unless the euro falls sharply against the yuan.
There�s no place like home
The opportunity for labour arbitrage is disappearing fastest in basic manufacturing and in China. Other sectors and countries are less affected. As Pankaj Ghemawat, the author of �World 3.0�, points out, despite rapidly rising wages in India, its software and back-office offshoring industry is likely to retain its cost advantage for the foreseeable future, not least because of its rapid productivity growth.
Nonetheless, a growing number of multinationals, especially from rich countries, are starting to see the benefits of keeping more of their operations close to home. For many products, labour is a small and diminishing fraction of total costs. And long, complex supply chains turn out to be riskier than many firms realised. When oil prices soar, transport grows dearer. When an epidemic such as SARS hits Asia or when an earthquake hits Japan, supply chains are disrupted. �There has been a definite shortening of supply chains, especially of those that had 30 or 40 processing steps,� says Mr Ghemawat.
Firms are also trying to reduce their inventory costs. Importing from China to the United States may require a company to hold 100 days of inventory. That burden can be handily reduced if the goods are made nearer home (though that could be in Mexico rather than in America).
Companies are thinking in more sophisticated ways about their supply chains. Bosses no longer assume that they should always make things in the country with the lowest wages. Increasingly, it makes sense to make things in a variety of places, including America.
Fair Trade Revealed As Feel-Good Hoax (http://mungowitzend.blogspot.com/2011/05/fair-trade-revealed-as-feel-good-hoax.html) By Mungowitz | Kids Prefer Cheese
Digging Deeper Into What Caused Job Losses (http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/18/digging-deeper-into-what-caused-job-losses/) By CASEY B. MULLIGAN | Economix
What's Wrong With Tech CEOs? (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703509104576329112614004894.html) By HOLMAN W. JENKINS, JR. | Wall Street Journal
In Hiring, Firms Shine Images (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704810504576307210092435484.html) By JOE LIGHT | Wall Street Journal
The Great Recession's lost generation (http://money.cnn.com/2011/05/17/news/economy/recession_lost_generation/index.htm) By Chris Isidore | CNNMoney
Top 10 Thriving Industries (http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2011/05/16/top-10-thriving-industries/) By Phil Izzo | Wall Street Journal
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Please call your lawmakers and educate them ... once we reach house floor we might not have time to call all lawmakers.
house housing and sports.
You are complaining to DOS about USCIS and DOL. That will not work. Every agency has a specific role
You are complaining to the official who sets visa dates. He has no authority to give relief just because some applicant/s are asking for it. He has to follow the rule every month and his responsibility is only to set the dates based on the statistics received from USCIS. This official has a very specific and limited role.
Who has the authority to set the spillover mode ? (Vertical vs Horizonal)
I read in some immigration forum that USCIS/DOS has switched between these at will in the past.
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My basic points are be knowledgeable in the mortgage technical details, and a broker should be able to find you something good assuming you have good credit and deposit. Only put people with SSN on mortgage. If you use the seller's realtor (after agreeing price terms etc) to find mortgage (if they are licensed, and legal in your state) then they may work double hard because they lose double if it don't work, but be aware of the conflict of interest, understand all technical details, and make deposits if any contingent on something you like (not just mortgage acceptance -- otherwise you could be 'accepted' for at a 10% APR). You are the boss not them. Since you may be more vulnerable to job prospects, factor that into the about of debt you are prepared to accept -- all personal finance more than immigration.
You might also like to consider independently getting a valuation and inspection of the property, paid for by you directly, not via mortgage application. I am more bothered in conflict of interest there. But in my case I knew mortgage finance inside out after my research, but knew less about home inspections and valuations.
My experience is that finance industry here knows little about GC, H1, AOS, etc. they care about credit score, SSN, deposit, employment/salary verification, state ID (maybe), and their commission. Do not handicap yourself.
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dresses housing development and
Slower building? �The demand for new homes in the Columbia region slowed significantly so far this year. Builders in Richland, Lexington and Kershaw counties saw a 33 percent drop to 1,082 single-family homes in the first three months of the year, according to the Home Builders Association of Greater Columbia.�
��We were expecting a downturn. I don�t know if I was expecting that much,� association executive director Earl McLeod said.�
��This is the worst I�ve ever seen it,� said builder David Beck, who has worked in the Columbia area for 17 years. �We�re just riding this to see what�s going to happen. I don�t think that it�s ever going to get back to the way it was.��
��The residential real estate industry ripple effect is a blood bath,� said David Marino of Irving Hughes, which specializes in representing tenants. �When we got hit hard in 2001 through 2003 in the tech side, the residential real estate guys took a lot of that space. Today, there�s no recovering industry sector to offset� the decline from housing-related companies.�
From ABC 30. �That foreclosure crisis is hitting the Valley hard. Dozens of new homes will hit the auction block in Chowchilla this weekend.�
�This three bedroom, two bath home has a starting price of 280-thousand dollars. That�s about 120-thousand dollars less than its previous price. And this is just one of 43 discounted homes that will be up for auction on Sunday.�
�Project manager Ginger Hoggarth says this auction will be very different than those that sell foreclosed homes. �They are brand new homes and you do still get the one year warranty the builder would normally offer as well as a walk through.��
�When the owners default, it leads to repossession rather than foreclosure, and these defaults are not included in the foreclosure data, said Moises Loza, HAC executive director. �It�s happening all over,� Loza said.�
�Merced County, population 246,000, underwent a housing boom over the past few years that saw developments spring up on what used to be farmland, said Rep. Dennis Cardoza from Merced. Now, in towns like Atwater, housing values have dropped as much as 50 percent, the congressman said.�
�The skeletons of houses where construction halted when the market went bust stand across a development where houses that sold for $400,000 just three years ago are now going begging at half the price.�
The Mountain View Voice. �Market conditions and tight money are causing some builders to shut down large housing projects here, despite relatively firm prices and brisk sales of completed homes.�
�At least two large developments have been halted or dropped so far, after the builders were frightened off by negative signs in the housing market. Two others are rumored to face problems.�
�Just east of Highway 237 near the Sunnyvale border is evidence of the trouble. At 505 E. Evelyn Ave., a maze of driveways makes its way around the huge lot but leads up to only four model homes on the corner. The other 147 have yet to be built, and there have been no signs of construction for nearly a year.�
�Dave Best, the project manager at Shea Homes, denied rumors that Shea was having trouble getting bank loans for the project.�
��It�s not that we don�t have the money to build it, we just have decided not to put our efforts in that particular project,� he said. �When we determine the market has come back and it makes sense to build, we will continue.��
The Sacramento Bee. �After all the intellectual assessments and recital of statistics about the subprime loan crisis, a woman from Chicago asked the question on the minds of many people in neighborhoods where so many have lost their homes. She asked the question in a setting far removed from those neighborhoods, at a California conference hosted earlier this week by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.�
��I want to know � how many people are going to jail?� asked Yevette Boutall, director of a community development fund that works in lower-income neighborhoods of Cook County.�
��That�s how angry people are in communities,� said Boutall. �They want to know how many people are going to go to jail, people who misled them and got away with it and earned money on their misery.��
�In San Francisco at the Fairmont Hotel, Boutall�s question went unanswered for the moment. But it struck a real note about people bearing the consequences of a time when mortgages and home prices went wild.�
�Speakers at the San Francisco Fed conference uniformly estimated that 2 million households will surrender their keys to lenders in the next year or two. That was their prediction despite all the voluntary lender-government agreements, the millions of dollars for new nonprofit loan counselors and the average $40,000 to $70,000 a lender loses with every foreclosure.�
��I wish I had better news for you in the short term,� said Tom Cunningham, director of the risk monitoring and analysis group at the Fed�s San Francisco bank.�
�He called the situation �unprecedented. We have never seen this before.��
�What seemed new at the Fed conference was how few major ideas there are to stop it. Speakers defined the problem, defined proposals to help assure it doesn�t happen again. But they could not be encouraging about solutions.�
�Speakers from the Fed, NeighborWorks America, the Center for Responsible Lending, Colorado Foreclosure Prevention Task Force and JPMorgan Chase talked about proposed legislation at state capitols and in Congress. They detailed efforts to reach out to struggling borrowers. But the big number � 2 million households during the next year or two � didn�t change.�
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A visa program designed to supply skilled foreign workers to companies in the U.S. has slowed sharply, attracting about 50% fewer petitions so far this year than last year, and 80% fewer than in 2009.
Several factors have contributed to the decline in H-1B visas, including the lackluster pace of the U.S. recovery, more opportunities for skilled workers in their home nations and higher visa fees, which appear to have spurred Indian companies operating in the U.S. to seek fewer visas. Attacks on the program by congressional foes of U.S. immigration policies have also cast a shadow over it.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services told The Wall Street Journal this week that it received about 8,000 H-1B petitions from businesses in April, the first month the agency accepts them for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1. That compares with 16,500 petitions in April 2010 and about 45,000 in April 2009, according to USCIS.
"It's baffling that H-1Bs aren't picking up if the economy is stronger," said Steve Miller, a Seattle attorney who prepares petitions for employers in high tech, retail and other sectors.
For years, the H-1B program was a mainstay for software companies, architecture firms and other businesses that seek foreign nationals to fill certain jobs. Demand for the visas by companies outstripped supply, and companies such as Microsoft Corp. lobbied the U.S. government to raise the cap on the number of visas.
In 2008, employers snapped up all 65,000 visas allotted on the first day, April 1. But starting in 2009, after the financial crisis hit, the flow of applications has steadily diminished.
The program, which enables foreigners to work in the U.S. for three to six years, was created as part of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1990 to help U.S. companies overcome a shortage of workers in specialty occupations, such as computer programming. Recently, the program has been attacked by lawmakers who say it displaces American workers and depresses wages.
Supporters and opponents made their cases at a congressional hearing held March 31, the day before the federal government began accepting H-1B applications.
At the House Subcommittee on Immigration, a critic of the program, Ronil Hira, highlighted that Indian companies operating in the U.S., such as Infosys, Tata and Wipro, are among the biggest H-1B users, and that they're bringing in foreigners with ordinary skills.
In an interview, Mr. Hira, a professor of public policy at Rochester Institute of Technology, said that "because of loopholes, employers can bring in cheaper foreign workers to substitute for American workers and undercut their wages."
His research indicates only about a third of all H-1B visa holders are "really highly skilled or graduates of U.S. universities who would be eventually sponsored for green cards," or permanent U.S. residency, by their employers. Employers have said that the program enables them to tap top talent, whom they seek to hire permanently down the road.
Supporters of the program, including high-tech firms and industry groups, say it attracts foreign talent that spawns innovation and creates jobs in the U.S. They cite former H-1B holders such as Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, and Vinod Dham, an engineer behind Intel Corp.'s Pentium chip, as proof of its value.
Vivek Wadhwa, a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley who studies immigrant entrepreneurs, said that an anti-immigrant climate had made it "a liability to hire H-1Bs," and that this will gradually chip away at U.S. global competitiveness, because the country has a dearth of homegrown engineers and scientists.
Moreover, Mr. Wadhwa said that foreign nationals who obtain U.S. degrees were more likely than ever to return home. "Ten to 15 years ago, by default, you'd want to be in America, because you had more opportunities. Now, you can do much, much better at home," he said.
In a survey of more than 250 Indian and Chinese entrepreneurs published last month, Mr. Wadhwa and co-researcher AnnaLee Saxenian, also of Berkeley, found that the majority of those who returned to their native countries believed they were faring better overall than they would have in the U.S.
Nutan Kunduri, a software engineer who stayed in the U.S. on an H-1B visa after completing her studies, said she decided to accept a job offer in India less than a year into working in Silicon Valley.
"Ten years back, I had this 'nothing will change in our country' attitude," she said. A recent visit to India made her realize that "for an IT professional like me, India is the place to be, with its booming tech industry."
Abhinav Tripati, a software engineer with a U.S. company in Boston, also plans to return to India, where salaries are slightly lower but the cost of living is significantly cheaper. "I see my friends back home enjoying most of the comforts of Western life," he said, with the added bonus of being close to friends and aging parents. "We can't often bring our parents to the U.S., as it's getting difficult to obtain visas for them," he said.
Some immigration attorneys believe companies are taking their time to file H-1B petitions because the 65,000 quota is unlikely to be exhausted soon. The cost and bureaucracy of applying is another deterrent. Last year, Congress passed a law that adds an additional fee of $2,000 for certain H-1B petitions that had cost $325. All told, lawyers' fees, filing fees and other expenses can reach $9,000 a applicant.
"HR people are aware there's no rush on H-1Bs," said Julie Pearl, an immigration lawyer in San Francisco.
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Can some of the gurus here point to some websites for fundamentals of home buying as well as investment in general ?
Appreciate your feedback.
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Now all that I am saying is there should be some % on the spill over that comes from EB1.
If there are 300,000 applicants in EB2 and if the spill over from EB1 is 30K every year, you think it is fair that EB2 gets that for over 6-7 years without EB3 getting anything? That is not fair and if that's what the law says, it has to be revisited. I am saying give 75% or even 90% to EB2 and make sure you clear EB3 with PD as old 2001 and 2002. That is being human. They deserve a GC as much as an EB2 with 2007 (and I am not saying that EB3 2007 deserves as much as an EB2 2007).
Bottom line, EB3 (or for that matter any category) can't be asked to wait endlessly just because there are some smart kids in another queue! We can come up with a better format of the letter; we can change our strategy to address this issue; we do not have to talk about EB2 and mention only our problems. We want EB3 queue to move.
Actually its 28.6% of the worlwide total for each category, but I'll ignore your ignorance about that. Remember that once a country retrogresses, there is a specific ORDER laid down by law on how to allocate visa numbers. It is only after the higher reservoir is full that visa numbers flow to the lower reservoir. If you are asking to fill both reserviors partially then what answer do you have to the EB2 candidate who did not get a visa number because an EB3 either ROW or from a retro country was allocated that number purely based on the length of wait.
Please understand that Law in general and immigration law in particular is about DUE PROCESS and DUE NOTICE. This flies in the face of both. Your argument is completely invalid for an EB-2 cadidate who did not get the visa number because of your 'fairness' rule.
If you sow the wind you'll reap the whirlwind!
Have you never jumped a line in your life, i bet you have.
We see it all the time, people will find ways to move ahead and so will you..nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is demeaning or ridiculing a group for you selfish needs...good luck with the law suit.. the least it will do is highlight problem our to a greater audience (Y).
WILLIAMSBURG, Jan. 31 -- A year ago, newly empowered House Democrats gathered here at the Kingsmill Resort for their annual retreat brimming with confidence. Before them was an ambitious legislative agenda and a determination to end or curtail the U.S. troop presence in Iraq.
This time around, the hotel and golf courses are the same, but the song is markedly different. Gone is the talk of forcing President Bush to end the war, as is the impetus to pass a comprehensive immigration package and to stick to strict budget rules. Instead, Democrats are thinking smaller, much smaller.
They hope to leave today with the beginnings of a scaled-down plan to pass a handful of bills in the House -- even if they cannot get through the Senate -- and build a case for November that Democrats have been productive enough to warrant at least another two years in the majority.
"The agenda is, to some degree, a completion of the agenda that we started last year, as is usually the case in the second year of the Congress," said House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.).
Presidential election years are traditionally slow on the legislative front, and Democrats have a narrow majority in the Senate. Even in the House, the 290 votes the majority needs to overcome any Bush veto usually are not there.
Democrats may take their cue from the modest proposals in Bush's State of the Union address this week, which Hoyer called "thin."
But that does not mean the party's to-do list is blank.
Democrats need to pass a budget. They want to pass another energy bill. They would like to pump money into the Highway Trust Fund for road projects. They may reauthorize the No Child Left Behind education law. They have to push through appropriations bills.
Democrats also have not given up on Iraq, though they do appear to be moving away from their so-far-unsuccessful strategy of tying troop withdrawal language to money for the war. Based on the comments of leaders here, any Iraq timeline language that moves this year will probably move separately from funding bills.
And while Iraq was a huge topic of discussion at the 2007 retreat, the economy is the theme this time around. "That's what this conference is about, a four-letter word: J-O-B-S," said House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.).
The House is waiting to see what the Senate does with the stimulus plan it passed this week, and a second package could be on the way soon.
Of the House-passed stimulus bill, Hoyer said, "Our effort was not the perfect, but it was the possible, and that's what we're going to be focused on."
The same could be said of the party's broader agenda.
Technically, Democrats do not call this gathering a "retreat." It is an "issues conference." But the mood is not entirely serious.
Emanuel loosened up the crowd at Wednesday night's dinner by showing a popular YouTube video -- "My kids found it," he explained -- of a teenage boy sitting in his room lip-synching a Will Ferrell impersonation of Bush. The assembled lawmakers roared along with the video.
The attire is also decidedly casual. Some members are strolling around in jeans; others have gone for the menswear-ad blazer-and-khakis combination. A colorful array of sweaters has been on display; House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.) met with reporters wearing a blue pullover emblazoned with "South Carolina. Smiling Faces. Beautiful Places."
While Kingsmill offers a wide variety of spa treatments and "wellness" services, members here have a full schedule of panel sessions on weighty policy topics. They heard governors talk about state budgets and chief executives address the environment and infrastructure. A speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke is the main event Friday.
Clyburn, an avid golfer, lamented that he has been coming to Kingsmill for a decade for official functions but has never had the chance to hit the links -- often because of bad weather -- despite the presence here of four separate courses designed by such golf luminaries as Arnold Palmer and Curtis Strange.
But Clyburn said he is determined to get out on the greens today. Right after that Bernanke speech.