From the Hill

High-tech workers needed

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) introduced legislation last week that would allow more foreign specialists to get visas.

The American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act would amend Title 8 of the U.S. Code, allowing Congress to raise the cap on H-1B visas issued to foreign IT workers. During the next three years, 195,000 workers would be admitted.

More federal telecommuting?

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) introduced legislation Feb. 11 that would expand the use of telecommuting by federal workers in the Washington, D.C., area.

The bill, H.R. 3603, would require President Clinton to issue an executive order that has been held at the White House for more than six months.

Computer access for kids

Every chapter of Boys and Girls Clubs of America would get a bank of computers, Internet access and instructors to show kids how to use the technology under a bill proposed Feb. 11 by Sen. Joseph Biden Jr. (D-Del.). The proposal, a public/private collaboration with corporate backing, would give the youth organization $20 million per year for six years. The companies would donate the technology while the government would pay to wire the clubs and pay IT teachers.

Final report on Kosovo lessons

The Pentagon's final report to Congress on the lessons learned from the war in Kosovo, released Feb. 9, describes a need to beef up DOD's electronic warfare, intelligence and surveillance capabilities. DOD has funded more than $3.5 billion in enhancements. Congress provided $1.9 billion of that amount last year. DOD has earmarked an additional $1.6 billion for enhancements and procurement in the fiscal 2001 to fiscal 2005 budgets.

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