I need to find out how many people are interested in pursuing this option, since the whole interfiling/PD porting business (based on a year 2000 memo) can seriously undermine the EB2 category.
I am currently pursuing some initial draft plans with some legal representation, so that a sweeping case may be filed to end this unfair practice. We need to plug this EB3-to-EB2 loophole, if there is any chance to be had for filers who have originally been EB2.
More than any other initiative, the removal of just this one unfair provision will greatly aid all original EB2 filers. Else, it can be clearly deduced that the massively backlogged EB3 filers will flock over to EB2 and backlog it by 8 years or more.
I also want to make this issue an action item for all EB2 folks volunteering for IV activities.
Friend... Your post is obviously selfishly motivated... and shortsighted. I'm sure if you were EB3 you would not make the same logical suggestion that you claim to be logical based on your self centered thinking.
What you're suggesting is make it even more difficult for anyone to change jobs (then it already is)...
Don't get too comfy with your EAD card, god forbid you might just get a RFE your AOS can get rejected, then you'll realize why your PD should be portable :D
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Today, we had an earthquake 5.4 at LA. NBC was thrilled, because that was their highest rating so far :)
It happens only in Hollywood, a secretary took a shield under the desk of her boss for earthquake. By the time, the earthquake was over, she had a starring role in his next movie..;)
Yesterday, John McCain removed a small mole from his temple, to which Pres. Bush responded "Temple?,Huh.. I didnt know he was Jewish"
There is a lot of things going on behind the scenes that many people are not aware of or totally clueless to.
Many people are trying to make the GC easier for themselves whereas the real focus should be a defensive measure.
VERMONT SERVICE CENTER is denying many, many h-1b's. These h-1b's are for companies who file greencards. If they are assessing that these companies do not have temporary jobs that require a degree then do you not think it is going to gravitate towards employment base greencards?
They are figuring out through requesting of payroll records, w'2's, consulate denials, etc., that many, many people never joined companies; didn't get paid, transferred to other companies shortly upon arrival.
It looks like USCIS/DOL have gone to zero tolerance and have devised ways to pierce through favorable rules protecting immigrant wannabe's.
They pierce through 245k by going through possible immigration fraud by listing employment in the g-325a when a person didn't get paid and may not have had employer/employee relationship (i have actually seen this where USCIS cited possible immigration fraud due to this issue to trump 245k).
USCIS is starting to challenge companies whether they have permanent jobs instead of temporary jobs; which looks like where this particular OP is going to go through. If they determine the job is temporary then that is going to spell doom for the EB greencard for him.
People decided they were going to poke USCIS and take complaints to senators/congressmen (whom you all think are your friends but many of you do not realize that they are not your friends) and now everyong is going to see how the system in this country works. We are currently in a new day and age with immigration. Everyone should buckle their seat belts as this is going to be a real bumpy ride.
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Today science has found out that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old. None of the religious book says story about Dinosaurs (Yes all the hippocrats of their religion will intrepret some wordings and make beautiful meanings out of it and will say it has already been quoted.. I have heard enough lectures on that and since you wont know the meaning of the actual word they will play with those words.. )
I was actually amazed with the way every religious scholor tries to interpret the way they have said about the age of Earth.. How smartly people make use of one year is equal to 1 million year or whatever accordingly and try to bring the result of 4.5 billion years per their Religious versus which says 2000 to 5000 years.. man it is amazing..
People's vision are covered with a glass called religion.. you need to take that out and see this beautiful world without it.. That will cure lot of problems..
Dont come and say to me that the more knowledge in science will take you close to religion..
I accept I have very little knowledge in Science but I admire it and I am thankful to it for all of its discoveries and inventions..
Tell me one good thing about religion.. I can talk thousands of good things about science ..(Dont cite examples that Science creates lot of bad things.. people use it in a wrong way .. )
Right, And u must the the enlightened one. And what do you mean by science: physics, chemistry , math or biology or theology
Is there a difference between god and a religion. I have heard lots of bulls saying " religions are ways to get to the same god" . If that was true then preachers of Islam would not have preached to convert every one to Islam by force or otherwise.
They would not have preached the following:
WA ILAHU KUM ILAHUN WAHIDUL LA ILAHA ILLA HU WAR RAHMAN UR RAHEEM
-- In other words, there is no god but Allah (implying gods of Jews, Christians, Hindus etc do not matter)
INN AL LAZEENA KAFAROO WA MA TOO WA HUM KUFFARUN ULAIKA ALAI HIM LA NAT ULLAHI WAL MALAAIKA TI WAN NASI AJMAEEN
-- Meaning : Those who disbelieve, and die while they are disbelievers; on them is the curse of Allah and of angels and of all mankind.
Now, because I don't share your "ideas" you want me to be cursed. What kind of God will do that.
Allaha has 100 names including the names like Saboor (99th), Rasheed (98th), Waris (97th) etc. But where are the names of the Gods that others beleive in.
Think these 3 things before buying a house
1. Location 2. Location and 3. Location
The same house in Queens, NY is 900K, In Bronx, NY 400K, In Edison, NJ 700K and in Detriot 200K. Do the math.
Also read this news.....I guess wait 6 more months before you buy a home
I am sure you were not born in this country and brought up. Think about the enjoyment you had when you were young. Playing with 10 kids of your age everyday, running stairs up and down, cycling around the communities. Don't our kids deserve the same?
They should not end up as "GC" victims.
(my final thoughts ...)
well one point is clear - those who have a house will justify it and those who rent will justify the same.
I don't expect those who bought house to say that they made a mistake ..they have to justify (rightly) their decision even if they paid more. and I agree with them.
both have their valid points but from what I have observed quality of life actually goes down a little when you buy a house at inflated prices or buy a house beyond yr means (as both hus / wife have to work etc etc ..many even end up cooking food once a week - if u know what I mean).
I am from bombay -- and actually we had more fun in the buildings / apartments because you end up spending more time outdoors with friends. now ofcourse people will say they stayed in bungalows in smaller cities and they had fun too ..and I agree. similarly I know few people / friends who bought houses here (in USA) in such isolated / wealthy surroundings that their kid / kids have no friends !! ,
similarly other in a hurry brought a house so far from work / city that they are in a soup !! some of their wives simply cannot drive or will take years to learn or they have only one car ..the net result - husband goes to work from 8 to 7 (including transit time) - kids end up at home (ofcourse they run up and down the stairs - watching TV). whereas in an apt - the chances that you would find someone in similar position is more (i.e. kids of same age who can play together is higher). maybe when they grow and go to school - things will be better -- I guess in the end it is personal.
...also just because someone buys a house - doesnt necessarily mean higher std of living and simarly those who rent - it doesnt mean that they have lower std of living ...in the end it is personal decision !! but in present scenario --- looking before leaping definitely makes sense. rather than buying a house quickly - just because everyone else is doing the same ..).
BTW there are lots of articles out there which explains why renting is not throwing money away !!
1. Proving that Employee - Employer relationship exists between H1 beneficiary and employer. The ability to hire, pay, supervise and fire should be demonstrated.
In cases where it is denying, USCIS is of opinion that the employer is in contract, manpower agency and their variants.
This is somewhat analogous to similar test done by IRS to establish emploee-employer relationship in case of independent contractors.
Not sure if it would make much difference, but if the petition letter demonstrates that the employer has control over the employee required matters, provide equipment (laptop etc) and that employer is primarily not in manpower business, it may fly.
2. Second issue is about need to bachelors degree and that computer programming is speciality occupation. I think there are clear precedents on this with guidance memos from USCIS agreeing that computer analyst /programmer is indeed a speciality occupation and that bachelors degree is a minimum requirement.
I am unable to attach actual doc on this message because of size limitations. But here is summary quoting from murthy.com
"In a December 22, 2000 memorandum from INS Nebraska Service Center (NSC) Director Terry Way to NSC Adjudications Officers, NSC acknowledges the specialized and complex nature of most Computer Programming positions. The memo describes both Computer Programmers and Programmer Analysts as occupations in transition, meaning that the entry requirements have evolved as described in the above paragraph.
Therefore, NSC will generally consider the position of Computer Programmer to be a specialty occupation. The memo draws a distinction between a position with actual programming duties (programming and analysis, customized design and/or modification of software, resolution of problems) and one that simply involves entering computer code for a non-computer related business.
The requirements in the OOH have evolved from bachelor's degrees being generally required but 2-year degrees being acceptable; to the current situation with bachelor's degrees again being required, while those with 2-year degrees can qualify only for some lower level jobs."
If you go back a few posts; I said that some people already have made up their minds and then they backtrack a way to justify their positions. USCIS has already made up their mind that they are now going to treat consulting companies as staffing agencies.
Within IRS definition of emplloyer; they have added "employee leasing" as a definition of employer. It fits perfectly into staffing (essentially if a person is going through a staffing agency for placement they are pretty much considered an employee of the staffing agency.
In common law the most critical function is who controls the work. In staffing arrangement it is the client who controls/supervises the work.
USCIS has made up their mind that they are going to use this case on every staffing company. If a company wants to go the internal job route then they are asking for mountains of infomation; including letters from companies who have puchased the product, marketing plan, technical specificiations; even if you supply all of this infomation; they still find a way to deny.
As I stated previously; companies/candidates will not challenge USCIS because time is on their side. If you want to challeng USCIS then you have to be clean on your side and follow all the laws perfectly which is pretty difficult for h-1b companis to do.
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If there's one fact that Americans take for granted, it's that other people want to live here. As President Barack Obama noted in his speech on immigration earlier this week, the U.S. has always attracted strivers from every corner of the globe, often willing to risk great hardships to get here.
During the 20th century especially, America became a magnet for the bright and ambitious. Millions of talented foreigners, from Alfred Hitchcock to Sergey Brin, flocked to our universities and benefited from our financial capital and open culture.
There are signs, however, that the allure of America is fading. A new study by researchers at U.C. Berkeley, Duke and Harvard has found that, for the first time, a majority of American-trained entrepreneurs who have returned to India and China believe they are doing better at "home" than they would be doing in the U.S. The numbers weren't even close: 72% of Indians and 81% of Chinese said "economic opportunities" were superior in their native countries.
Some of the local advantages cited by these global entrepreneurs were predictable: cheap labor and low operating costs. What's more worrisome is that these business people also cited the optimistic mood of their homelands. To them, America felt tapped out, but their own countries seem full of potential. This might also help to explain why the number of illegal immigrants entering the U.S. has plunged more than 60% since 2005.
These trends are troubling because they threaten to undermine a chief competitive advantage of the U.S. Though politicians constantly pay lip service to the importance of American innovation, they often fail to note that it is driven in large part by first-generation immigrants.
Consider some recent data. The U.S. Patent Office says immigrants invent patents at roughly double the rate of non-immigrants, which is why a 1% increase in immigrants with college degrees leads to a 15% rise in patent production. (In recent years, immigrant inventors have contributed to more than a quarter of all U.S. global patent applications.) These immigrants also start companies at an accelerated pace, co-founding 52% of Silicon Valley firms since 1995. It's no accident that immigrants founded or co-founded many of the most successful high-tech companies in America, such as Google, Intel and eBay.
Why is immigration so essential for innovation? Immigrants bring a much-needed set of skills and interests. Last year, foreign students studying on temporary visas received more than 60% of all U.S. engineering doctorates. (American students, by contrast, dominate doctorate programs in the humanities and social sciences.)
These engineering students drive economic growth. According to the Department of Labor, only 5% of U.S. workers are employed in fields related to science and engineering, but they're responsible for more than 50% of sustained economic expansion (growth that isn't due to temporary or cyclical factors). These people invent products that change our lives, and in the process, they create jobs.
But the advantages of immigration aren't limited to those with particular academic backgrounds. In recent years, psychologists have discovered that exposing people to different cultures, either through travel abroad or diversity in their hometown, can also make them more creative. When we encounter other cultures we become more willing to consider multiple interpretations of the same thing. Take leaving food on one's plate: In China, it's often a compliment, signaling that the host has provided enough to eat. But in America it can suggest that the food wasn't good.
People familiar with such cultural contrasts are more likely to consider alternate possibilities when problem-solving, instead of settling for their first answer. As a result, they score significantly higher on tests of creativity. Perhaps it's not a coincidence that many of the most innovative places in the world, such as Silicon Valley and New York City, are also the most diverse.
We need a new immigration debate. In recent years, politicians have focused on border control and keeping out illegal immigrants. That's important work, of course. But what's even more important is ensuring that future inventors want to call America home.
Europe and immigration are vital issues, so let's discuss them (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/8514152/Europe-and-immigration-are-vital-issues-so-lets-discuss-them.html) Telegraph
Fewer takers for H-1B
The software scene in the US is changing (http://businessstandard.com/india/news/fewer-takers-for-h-1b-/435622/)
Business Standard Editorial
President Obama's dreaming if he thinks he's mending fences with immigrants (http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/bronx/2011/05/15/2011-05-15_prez_dreaming_if_he_thinks_hes_mending_fences.h tml) By Albor Ruiz | NYDN
Twisting the truth on the Mexican border (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/twisting-the-truth-on-the-mexican-border/2011/05/12/AFOJKi3G_story.html) The Washington Post Editorial
The Secure Visas Act (http://www.cfr.org/immigration/secure-visas-act/p24959) By Edward Alden | Council on Foreign Relations
Appreciate all the comments on how the initiative(s) won't work. But at the same time if they can in some way suggest what will work that will be great.
I'm sure not doing anything will be not be a right thing .
I do agree we have to make noice. Let's work on how to make effective noise.
My thoughts are running on Letter/Call campaigns.
Don't know anything about what should be done effectively.Else I would be posting it here.
But for sure I'll support initiative(s) for EB3-I.
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1. WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may cause you to wake up with a breath that could knock a buzzard off a wreaking dead animal that is one hundred yards away.
2. WARNING: Consumption of alcohol is a major factor in dancing like an idiot.
3. WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may cause you to tell the same boring story over and over again until your friends want to assault you
4. WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may cause you to thay shings like thish.
5. WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may cause you to tell the boss what you really think of him.
6. WARNING: Consumption of alcohol is the leading cause of inexplicable rug burn on the forehead.
7. WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may create the illusion that you are tougher, handsomer and smarter than some really, really big guy named Psycho Bob.
8. WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may cause sufficient brain damage to make you participate in this debate (http://immigrationvoice.org/forum/showthread.php?t=20669).
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H1B, Labor, I140, I485, EAD, AP, PD, RD, ND, VB, RFE – Sucks man, had enough.
In fact I am so relaxed and laughed many times for the past 2 days. I read so many jokes and picked the good ones, I really enjoyed doing this.
Thanks for all those for their encouragement, positive comments and yes, Green dots.
If the trend continues, I think very soon I can beat Pappu in terms of number of green dots (Ssssssss!!! don’t let Pappu know about this till then, ok :))
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Should something bad happen (Which I dont understand why it would), .
I do not understand either...OP says he/she does not want to spend a grand (not sure if it costs that much) in attorney fees while he is willing to spend time/money trying to immigrate to Alberta. Taking a fatalistic approach and hoping for the best seems to be the idea. Again good luck to OP.
It is always good to utilize services of a good Attorney for complex situations. But anyways good luck.
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This letter has a very striking problem in it.. one that can cause a huge problem for the people signing it.
How can one say that they wanted to apply in EB2, but their lawyer said they should apply in EB3?
As pointed out by pappu, Category is determined by job requirements and not the summary qualifications of the beneficiary.
If you sign and say that the lawyer said you should apply in EB3/EB2/whatever, you are essentially stating that lawyers were involved in fabricating the job requirements. This is the same problem that is causing Fragomen clients to be investigated/audited.
This is just an advice. I am prepared to support IV and the members in whatever we decide to follow.
Can I ask why the complaint in the letter about the change in interpretation of the law in favor of Eb2 I? Before jumping on me, read on.
The overflow visas would not go to EB3 I, under either interpretation. They would now go to either oversubscribed EB2 countries namely India and China(horizontally) or as in the past 2 yrs they went to to EB3 ROW under the old interpretation(Vertically).
Arguably the first one is better for EB3 India since atleast, if you are qualified and your employer agrees and your job description is suited to EB2, then you could move. You certainly could not move your country of chargability. If you were hoping for overflow from EB3ROW, it would still have to pass through the gate of EB2I.
Perhaps the person drafting the letter can explain their rationale on including this in the letter.
I agree with Pappu, the single most important thing that could help EB3I in the near term is a visa recapture legislation. That is where the most energy of EB3 and for that matter all of IV membership should be. Specifically the membership needs to get more robust in their actions especially personally meeting lawmakers and their staff. Meeting affected constituents from their districts seems to have the most influence on them.
Additionally, I would not convey the sense that, you were "deciding" on whether to file Eb2 or EB3. That should solely be based on the job description and is more up to the employers discretion in the current law. The beneficiary should not have a role in that(as per what I understand). Additionally, noone was prevented from porting their PD or using Sub labors or moving into EB2 category should the new job description meet the criteria (always remember you being qualified for EB2 means didly squat to the USCIS, it is the job description and the employer's desire for it that the USCIS considers, only then do your qualifications even matter to them). I agree that all of these are irksome to those waiting patiently in line, but those are the rules unfortunately. To my mind, the labor sub. thing was the most egregious, discriminatory and widely abused(thank god it has been ended), unfortunately those in the queue over the last few years paid for it.
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If it's good to be a Democrat on K Street these days, it's even better to be a Democrat who once worked for a current chairman of a congressional tax-writing committee. That's clearly where the money is.
Timothy E. Punke, a former trade aide to Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) of the Senate Finance Committee, was named a partner of Monument Policy Group, a lobbying firm. His new clients include heavyweights such as Microsoft and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.
Former Baucus chief of staff Jeffrey A. Forbes of Cauthen Forbes & Williams also has a slew of new clients. They include Merck, Genentech, Ford and Intuit.
William A. Signer, a former staffer to Chairman Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) of the House Ways and Means Committee, has a new job -- managing director of health-care and tax practices at Carmen Group. "His experience in understanding Chairman Rangel's goals and motivations are invaluable to clients," said David M. Carmen, president of the firm. Signer's ties to Rangel, Carmen added, were "definitely a factor" in his hiring.
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If we are to have CIR based GC advantage there will need to be H1B regulation. Thousands of h1Bs get filled in matter of hours. Many for consultants. How can that be right. Tough choices will need to be made and so be it.
i am a physician and in the same boat as you. my employer searched high and dry before i came along. but you are missing something here. except universities that can hire the "best candidate", every other employer has to employ a citizen/gc applicant with the "minimum qualifications for the job". please revisit the rules if you do not understand this. your talent and extra skills count for nothing. employers cannot take the best applicant...if an LCA is needed. this is a very significant problem if applied to H1B renewals. Any tom dick and harry can displace you every 3 years. think about it please, not just your own situation. i am strongly in favor of H1B reform. i believe that this if linked with a bill like strive dramatically increase support for retrogression relief. however the reform needs to be thought through carefully. a 6 mnth LCA process for each renewal would kill us. let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater...
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I agree with Hiralal that prices have come down in all these area a lot compared to past.
In alphareeta in 200-300K you can get any new house you want. But not much new construction in that area because of lack of space. You can even get in Johns creek in that price range, which most costliest area in the north. Lot of new construction in the cumming. Not much new in the Suwanee as well as Duluth too.
You can hardly get a decent big and recent (relatively new) house below 200K in any of these area (not town home) unless it is foreclosure. I got in 175Kbecause it was foreclosure.
PM me if you need to talk and you are in market to buy new home. I can share my experiences.
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Full disclousre - I consider myself a fiscal conservative. But after watching the debate I believe Obama is a better candidate for Presidency than John McCain and here's why -
1) There is a third dimension to the economic debate besides tax cuts and tax raises - National Debt - which has run into uncountable trillions of Dollars. Obama gets it. McCain doesn't.
2) Both candidates want to cut Defense expenditure. McCain thinks making Defense contracts fixed cost will cut expenditure substantially. How does he plan to do that without affecting quality? Are we to see more of the guns that don't fire in Iraq? Obama has a better solution - end the Iraq War in a timely fashion and save trillions of dollars spent every month.
3) McCain wishes to continue the practice of cutting billions of dollars check anually to Pakistan, most of which goes to buy ammunition from US weapons manufacturers. In other words, a subsidy/corporate welfare in the name of 'War on Terror'. Obama plans to hold them accountable for the money they receive and wishes to see the money go to rooting out Al-queda rather than weapons that threaten India into an arms race. Obama plans to hunt down and eliminate Al-queda in Iraq. McCain has no such immediate plans! He wishes to fight the war in Iraq for 4-8 more years and pass on the responsibility to his successor.
4) McCains solution to energy crisis is to destroy the North Pole and burden thousands of generations to come with nuclear waste which will literally take a millenia to clean-up. Obama has placed is bet on replenishable ,greener and less expensive alternatives.
5) Both candidates plans require 'Borrow and Spend' in the short term due to proposed tax cuts. I would rather have Obama spend it on Energy Research than let McCain blow it up in I-rack. At least with Obama plan, America has a chance that reduced dependency on foreign oil may let US government divert the money currently spent on Foreign Oil in paying off debt, rather than pass it on to the future generation.
6) Obama has proposed a medical insurance to help veterans. McCains answer -' I know veterans. I will take care of them'. What kind of answer is that?
7) Obama's stated position is that American companies can bring in more skilled foreign workers as long as there is a need. We are of course concerned about his buddy Sen. Durbin's views which are diametrically opposite of Obama's stated position. On the other hand, McCain doesn't consider EB immigration to be important enough to have a position. In John McCains world - we simply don't exist!
I think it's a good effort by Chandu to educate EB immigrants on the political realities so that we get ready in the days to come to face any eventuality. Also it will aid those of us who get Green Cards in the mean time to make wise decisions while contributing to future election campaigns.
came across nice comments about NJ - comments from the people were more interesting than the article itself - one of them mentioned NJ and hence am posting it. The comments below are from other people (not mine) --it gives you an idea as to how Americans feel about housing
can tell you in NJ, first time buyers are still screwed and stand no chance of buying right now. Let me set the scene for you. I just turned 25, I made $70k last year ($60k salary $10K bonus), I have 0 credit card debt and have never paid a cent of interest on a credit card. I have no student loans and a finished paying off a car loan in 2.5 years. I have $40k in savings and get an additional 10% of my income put in to a SEP IRA at year ($7k last year, $13k total). I would say I'm doing alright for only being in the workforce for 2.5 years, and I still have to live with my parents. Home prices here are unjustifiably high. On top the ridiculous home prices, I have to figure in the MINUMUM of $500 a MONTH in property taxes due to the complete ineptitude and corrupt nature of my state's government (if you want a never ending source to write about, this would be the place). The AVERAGE property tax in NJ is $6,800/year = $566/ month. Looking at a condo also doesn't work because you can't find a place with association fees of less than $250/month, so no point in paying a lower price for a condo. The ones that are still nice w/ 2 br. & 1 bath list for $300k. Between fees and taxes, you are down $700/month and haven't even gotten to your mortgage yet. I have no choice but to wait and HOPE the economy continues to crumble, while hoping that I stay employed throughout the whole ordeal. All of these action the Fed and the Gov't are taking to soften the blow are doing nothing but screwing me and other first-time buyers. They should just let the bottom fall out already so that people my age can even have a chance to survive on our own.
Buy a house and watch the value continue to tank for the next five years....I'm sure all first time buyers are thrilled at the prospect of being "upside down" in their first mortgage. Also, Fed rate cuts also don't always translate to better mortgage rates. Lenders aren't thrilled about locking buyers into fixed low rates.
Housing prices double in less than 5 years. Then they go down about 10% such that in the last six or seven years, prices have gone up only 80%. So now houses are suddenly a bargain because they aren't quite as overpriced as they were last year? That's like my neighbor joking that gas prices are cheap when they go below $3 a gallon. Houses have a long way to go before they are a good value. You are much better off renting from someone who is desperate to not sell their house for a loss. After a year of renting, you can get that house for less than today's cost plus a year of rent. Oh, and one other thing. Get a 30 year fixed loan with the lowest rate you can find. Make sure you pay attention to the fees, so you are covered there. Go through the process with at least two separate people, so you can easily switch when one tries to screw you. The last thing you want is an ARM when interest rates are sure to go up when the screaming about inflation reaches Washington DC.
IT WASN'T EASY, it took too long, and it's not done yet -- but before Congress leaves for its August recess, it should have completed a lobbying reform bill that would, for the first time, require disclosure of the bundles of campaign checks that lobbyists bring in for politicians. We say "should have" because the measure -- having not gone through the normal conference committee process -- needs to clear significant hurdles in both the House and Senate. Lawmakers of both parties, in both houses, must ensure that that happens before going home to face constituents who appear increasingly unhappy about a Congress they perceive as looking after its own interests, not theirs.
The lobbying package makes important changes, some of which were written into House rules in January. It would prohibit lawmakers and staff members from accepting gifts or travel from lobbyists and their clients. It would end lawmakers' ability to fly on corporate aircraft at cut-rate prices; senators and White House candidates would have to pay regular charter rates for such flights, while House members would simply be barred from accepting travel on private jets. It would lengthen, from one year to two, the revolving-door prohibition on senators and Senate staff members; the House limit would remain at one year.
It would require that senators pushing pet projects known as earmarks make that information available at least 48 hours in advance of a vote and certify that they and their immediate family members have no financial stake in the items; earmarks added in conference could be challenged and would have to receive 60 votes to survive. Lobbyists would also have to report gifts made to presidential libraries, now a financial disclosure black hole.
Most important, the measure would require lawmakers to include on their campaign finance reports the identities of lobbyists who raise $15,000 or more for them during a six-month period -- shining a needed light on an important source of influence. Keeping this requirement part of the bill was a difficult, and important, achievement.
This agreement will be brought up on the House floor today, under rules allowing it to pass quickly with two-thirds support. Then it goes to the Senate, where it is expected to run into opposition from Republican Sens. Jim DeMint (S.C.) and Tom Coburn (Okla.) over whether the earmarking rules are strict enough; because it involves a change in Senate rules, 67 votes will be needed for passage. Leadership from Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) will be critical to ensure that the complaints of a few senators are not allowed to derail a change that is badly needed and long overdue.