House Continuing Resolution Omits EB-5 Renewal

Washington, D.C., September 24, 2021: On Tuesday, September 21, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives (lower chamber of the U.S. Congress) passed a temporary spending bill to maintain U.S. federal government operations at present funding levels. The Continuing Resolution did not, however, include a renewal of the EB-5 regional center program.

What is a Continuing Resolution?

The continuing resolution seeks to avoid the shut-down of the U.S. federal government for lack of formal funding legislation. The Continuing Resolution would keep agencies running through Dec. 3, 2021. An additional two months is expected give enough time for elected officials in Congress to negotiate the details funding legislation that is required each year.

Will the U.S. Senate Act on the House Version of the Continuing Resolution?

The House version of the Continuing Resolution is controversial this year because it includes an rule that would suspending the federal government’s debt ceiling. The Republican opposition party in the U.S. Senate (upper chamber of the Congress) have indicated intense opposition to that measure. Since Republican Party votes are required to pass the continuing resolution through the Senate, it is possible that the House will have to pass another Continuing Resolution before or shortly after October 1, 2021, if (as predicted) the House’s Continuing Resolution will fail to pass the U.S. Senate.

What Does this Mean for the EB-5 Regional Center Program?

In terms of the EB-5 Regional Center program, the omission of the program’s renewal from the House version of the Continuing Resolution passed this Tuesday is telling. It confirms that congressional negotiations appear to have pushed immigration measures – including renewal of the EB-5 regional center program – into the negotiations for this year’s spending legislation. The Continuing Resolution nevertheless did include $28.6 billion in additional disaster relief funding, as well as $6.3 billion to support resettlement efforts for Afghan evacuees, priorities for both the Biden administration and a bipartisan group of lawmakers whose home states have been impacted by recent hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters.

EB-5 investors with pending cases and EB-5 regional centers will thus have to wait for clarity on the future of the EB-5 regional center program. Without including EB-5 in the Continuing Resolution, and the prospect of delayed negotiations on spending bills through to December 3, 2021, the prospects for an additional two months of uncertainty does not provide any relief for the thousands of EB-5 investors who have been waiting patiently for Congress to take action to re-start the EB-5 regional center program – a job-creating visa program that has been operating for almost 30 years.

Donoso & Partners, a leading immigration law firm based in Washington, D.C., will continue to report on developments regarding the immigration law and policy through our news section of donosolaw.com.

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