Rep. Tony Gonzales Introduces Bipartisan Hire Act to Provide Workforce Shortage Solution
Republican Representative Tony Gonzales of Texas held a press conference Tuesday introducing the bipartisan H-2 Improvements to Relieve Employers (HIRE) Act as a solution to abate unprecedented inflationary US workforce shortages and to help improve border security. The bill, which already has the support of 15 bipartisan cosponsors and over 30 business organizations, would update temporary work visas by cutting down on bureaucracy and extending their length from one to three years, helping to provide US businesses with needed workers to fill jobs that they can’t find the Americans to do.
The bipartisan effort of lawmakers on the bill provides hope that Congress will take a sensible first step towards fixing the broken immigration system that has lacked solutions for decades due to uncompromising poltical partisanship. Gonzales called on his colleagues to come together and support the bill.
“This is an important topic that a lot of people spend energy on and I think not enough energy is spent on solving the problem… this isn’t just a bunch of politicians rolling out a bill and throwing it against the wall and blaming the swamp for why it isn’t passed,” said Gonzales at during a press conference at the Capitol.
“Why is this bill needed? Congress has become very partisan. There’s a lot of bickering that happens up here. A little too much partisanship for my liking. I think it’s important that Congress get a shot in the arm of bipartisanship, and that’s exactly what this bill is built to do. It’s built to have us take one step forward. Maybe it’s not the answer to everything, but one step forward. If we as a team can come together and stop pointing fingers at each other and take one step in the 188th Congress, then maybe we can take two steps, and then all of the sudden we’re walking and then running. We can’t do that alone,” he added.
Gonzales discussed details of the bill further.
“The HIRE Act allows people an economic opportunity to come to the US. It’s pretty simple, it takes work visas from one year to three years, it allows the process to be updated… we don’t need as much bureaucracy around some of these policies, so it takes care of that, and then it allows employers to highlight to American workers that some of these jobs are more than just seasonal jobs,” he said.
“We absolutely need to know who is coming into our country, but imagine if we knew who was coming into our country and those people weren’t coming in illegally, they were coming for one purpose: work visas. That’s what this was built around,” said Gonzales, highlighting the fact that the bill will help to reduce border chaos by improving legal pathways for economic migrants to fill US jobs, providing an alternative to crossing the border illegally or making illegitimate asylum claims.
The HIRE Act is cosponsored by U.S. Representatives Monica De La Cruz (R-Texas), Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), Vicente Gonzalez (D-Texas), Juan Ciscomani (R-Ariz.), Darren Soto (D-Fla.), Stephanie Bice (R-Okla.), Chris Pappas (D-N.H.), Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.), Shri Thanedar (D-Mich.), John Duarte (R-Calif.), Maria Elvira Salazar (R-Fla.), David Valadao (R-Calif.), Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.), Jefferson Van Drew (R-N.J.), Don Bacon (R-Neb.), and James Moylan (R-Guam).