With time running out on E-Verify and other federally funded programs, House leaders are considering stopgap legislation this week to keep the government in operation beyond September 30th, the close of the fiscal year. As previously reported, both the House and Senate have proposed extending the E-Verify program as part of the fiscal year 2010 DHS appropriations bill, but have yet to work out differences. The House version proposes a two year extension, while the Senate bill calls for permanent reauthorization along with a requirement that federal contractors and subcontractors use the system for all new hires and employees assigned to a contract.
According to CongressDaily, House leaders will likely implement the stopgap measure (known as a continuing resolution) through the end of October, although the exact date could easily change. The additional month will give lawmakers time to finish work on the 12 annual appropriations bills, which provide funding for numerous activities, including national defense, education, homeland security, and general government operations.
In related news, Senator Chuck Grassley wrote a letter today to the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, pressing them to retain his E-Verify amendment (#1415) which would allow all employers (even those who are not federal contractors) to voluntary check existing employees through E-Verify as long as they do so within ten days of election. Senator Grassley argues that the short time period will prevent employers from targeting certain workers by claiming that they are “still working on” verifying the remainder of their workforce. Under the Senator’s plan, if an employer wishes to check existing workers, it must then check them all.
A copy of Senator Grassley’s letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee is available here. We’ll continue to provide timely updates as Congress debates the future of E-Verify.