September 20, 2017

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EB-5 Regional Center Program to Get Short-Term Reprieve with Passage of Continuing Resolution

Coinciding with the end of the current fiscal year, the EB-5 regional center program is set to expire today but will get a temporary reprieve with expected final passage of a Continuing Resolution (CR) that will fund the government through December 11 and also temporarily extend the regional center program through that same date.  

In addition to averting a government shutdown by funding federal activities once the new fiscal year starts tomorrow, the CR’s EB-5 extension will allow those in Congress seeking to reauthorize and reform the program additional time to advance legislation that has been proposed, but has not advanced, in the House and Senate.

This short-term regional center extension comes on the heels of a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that was critical of the EB-5 program. Titled “Immigrant Investor Program: Additional Actions Needed to Better Assess Fraud Risks and Report Economic Benefits,” the report spurred Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) to say that, with regard to the regional center program, “the status quo is unacceptable, and we need to pass legislation to reform the program.” Senator Grassley is a long-time critic of the regional center program and introduced the Senate EB-5 reauthorization and reform bill along with Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-VT). The House reauthorization bill was introduced by Representatives Mark Amodei (R-NV) and Jared Polis (D-CO).

The next two months, leading up to December 11, are sure to see a renewed effort by Grassley, Leahy, Amodei, and Polis to push for action on reauthorization and reform of the regional center program. In a best case scenario, we could see passage of a regional center reauthorization and reform bill before the short-term extension ends. If that doesn’t happen, the outlook is unclear. While the CR passed this week will avert a government shutdown on October 1, it may have simply delayed a shutdown until December if lawmakers are unable to come to agreement on spending priorities and pass an Omnibus appropriations bill, or even another CR, in December. In the absence of a stand-alone regional center reauthorization bill, or an Omnibus spending bill or CR as a vehicle for extension of the program, supporters of the program will have to identify another legislative vehicle to keep the program alive. 

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About this Author

Alexander Hecht, Vice President of Government Relations, Mintz Levin law Firm
Vice President of Government Relations

Alex is Deputy Director of the Mintz Levin Center for Health Law & Policy. He is an attorney with more than 10 years of senior-level experience in Congress and trade associations.

Alex assists clients with their legislative and regulatory needs on a wide range of issues. Prior to joining ML Strategies, Alex served for over six years as chief counsel for Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME) on the US Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship. He was the lead policy counsel for Senator Snowe on health insurance market reform, individual and employer-based insurance,...

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R. Neal Martin, Government Relations, Mintz Levin, Law firm
Senior Manager of Government Relations

With more than 10 years experience in government and government relations, Neal focuses on issues related to transportation and infrastructure, clean energy, trade, and federal appropriations. Working with a client portfolio made up of non-profits, clean energy start-ups, and large companies, Neal’s efforts have focused on increasing client visibility and influence with decision makers at the congressional and federal agency level, and providing strategic advice on public policy and federal funding opportunities. 

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Douglas Hauer, Corporate Immigration Attorney, Government Investigations, Mintz Levin Law
Member

Doug is a Member in the firm's Corporate & Securities Practice and Immigration Practice. On the corporate side, he focuses on private offerings and related securities work. Doug serves as counsel to developers and businesses seeking capital through the EB-5 investor visa program. He also counsels lenders, private equity firms, and EB-5 Regional Centers on all aspects of EB-5 financing. In the immigration law space, Doug represents corporate, institutional, and individual clients in routine and complex immigration matters. He has in-depth...

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