On immigration, lobbying and entitlements | Business Roundtable


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On immigration, lobbying and entitlements

Jan 15, 2013

Goings on at Business Roundtable touch on immigration, lobbying and entitlement reform. A round-up...

Business Roundtable President John Engler participated in a  panel discussion on immigration and technology this morning, an event sponsored by POLITICOPro and Cognizant. (Francisco DeSouza, president and CEO of Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation, is a BRT member.) Joining Engler on the panel were Consumer Electronics Association President and CEO Gary Shapiro and Dean Garfield, president and CEO of the Information Technology Industry Association.

From Politico, "Tech lobbyists: Immigration reform needed 'desperately'":

[Engler] noted that it’s hard to know exactly where he and his group stand until there’s a specific proposal on the table.

“Let’s be clear, there is no White House plan,” Engler said. “There’s not going to be amnesty and there’s not going to be deportation either. That has to be sorted out.”


Responding to a question from a viewer via Twitter, the panelists agreed that part of the problem is that the U.S. is not raising enough science- and math-interested children to grow up to do these jobs.

“There’s a huge pipeline problem,” Engler said, saying American universities are financially dependent on immigrants. “We have school after school in America that couldn’t keep them open without foreign students.”

Elsewhere, The Hill ran a nice profile of Bill Miller, Business Roundtable's senior vice president who handles legislative and political outreach to Congress and the Executive Branch. From "Business Roundtable's chief lobbyist Bill Miller: Taking care of business":

Bill Miller knows business. Miller ran a disc jockey entertainment company before he graduated from college. Since then he has helped launched a bank and at least two restaurants — never mind trying to get a television pilot off the ground....

Miller, 50, said he has learned plenty from his previous jobs, including being a wedding DJ.  

“The lessons I learned from running my own small business were pretty easily translatable into politics,” Miller said, comparing his start in the workforce to his time as a surrogate in the press. “Being on television is a little bit stressful. It’s not as stressful as introducing a Greek wedding party.”

Looking ahead in the week, entitlements will be the focus. From The Hill:

On K Street, groups are gearing up for debates over entitlement reform.

The Business Roundtable, an association of CEOs, will release recommendations for "modernizing" Medicare and Social Security at a press conference Wednesday.

The event will involve Gary Loveman, CEO of Caesars Entertainment Corporation; Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T; and John Engler, president of the Business Roundtable.

Loveman chairs BRT's Health and Retirement Committee, and Stephenson is vice chairman.