In an unlikely alliance, Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., will join with tea-party favorite Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., in introducing legislation to build on the Jobs Act signed into law earlier this year.
Joined by Sens. Christopher Coons, D-Del., and Jerry Moran, R-Kan., Warner and Rubio are rolling out the Startup Act 2.0, aimed at helping new businesses add to their payrolls and jump-start the still-ailing economy.
"Eighty percent of all the new jobs that have been created in the last 20 years have been created by new businesses," Warner said Monday in a phone interview.
While the startups bill passed earlier this year eased access to capital for fledgling businesses, the new bill would take a multipronged approach to helping them gain access to talent.
The legislation's core component is the creation of two new visas for legal immigrants: an "entrepreneur's visa" to allow immigrants creating jobs to stay put and a "STEM visa" for U.S.-educated foreign students who graduate with a master's or Ph.D. in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.
"You read about Microsoft moving thousands of research jobs to China and India because they can't hire enough Americans in those fields," Warner said. "Why would we go out and train some of the world's best and brightest and then send them home if we can't fill those jobs with Americans? ... This is to keep these jobs here."
The bill also would eliminate the per-country caps for employment-based immigrant visas.
A few of its other provisions are:
* making permanent the exemption of capital-gains taxes on the sale of certain small-business stock held for at least five years;
* creating a targeted research and development tax credit for businesses less than five years old and with less than $5 million in annual receipts;
* using existing federal funding to support taxpayer-funded university initiatives designed to bring research to the marketplace more quickly;
* requiring all government agencies to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of all proposed rules and regulations with an economic impact of $100 million or more.
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