Members of Congress Express Their Support for EB-5 in Letter to House Appropriators

WASHINGTON, DC – On December 9, 2020, a bipartisan group of lawmakers from the U.S. House of Representatives expressed their support for the EB-5 Regional Center Program in a letter sent to the Chairwoman and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Appropriations.

In the letter, the undersigned members of Congress noted the “program, devised by Congress as an economic development driver, is a proven success and we need it now more than ever. We request that you include the EB-5 Regional Center program’s reform and long-term reauthorization in the next appropriation measure.”

We greatly appreciate the leadership of U.S. Representatives Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ-01), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01), and Dwight Evans (D-PA-03) in leading this letter and look forward to working collaboratively with both the House and the Senate to ensure EB-5 has an equitable and long-term future.

The EB-5 Program “can and should be a valuable tool for economic recovery as our nation looks to emerge from its present crises” noted IIUSA Executive Director, Aaron Grau. Grau Continued, ” IIUSA and the EB-5 industry as a whole stand ready to help the nation recover to and drive economic development and job creation across the country.”

We also thank U.S. Representatives Mike Doyle (D-PA-18), French Hill (R-AR-02), Glenn Grothman (R-WI-06), Chris Jacobs (R-NY-27), Doris Matsui (D-CA-06), Marc Veasey (D-TX-33), and Susan Wild (D-PA-07) for their support and unwavering commitment to the American people and economic vitality.

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IIUSA is the national membership-based not-for-profit industry trade association for the EB-5 Regional Center Program. Our members account for a vast majority of EB-5 Program capital formation and job creation.


The Letter 

(View PDF

Dear Chairwoman Lowey and Ranking Member Granger,

The EB-5 Regional Center Program has been, can be, and should be a powerful tool for the nation’s economic recovery. While Congress has rightfully extended this program for the last nineteen appropriation cycles, the program needs reform and a long-term authorization.

Fortunately, after years of debate, industry stakeholders have come together and agreed on instituting the necessary integrity reform measures to safeguard the program and enhance its economic capability. They stand ready to work with Congress.

Among the necessary changes to the Regional Center program is integrity reforms. Over time, the Regional Center program suffered setbacks because bad actors abused its opportunities. Industry stakeholders agree with Congressional priorities for increased oversight and additional protections against fraud and abuse including, but not limited to:

  1. third party audits;
  2. clear information to investors about projects’ progress;
  3. definitive records illustrating an investor’s source of funds; and
  4. Scrutiny for and protections against threats to national security.

Between 2008 and 2015, as the nation struggled with its last economic downturn, the EB-5 Regional Center program was directly responsible for $20.6B in economic investments and creating or saving 731,792 jobs.

As the country struggles with the COVID-19 pandemic and an even greater economic crisis, the EB-5 Regional Center program stands ready and is capable of infusing more than $3 billion into the economy while saving and creating close to 100,000 jobs. However, those numbers are just the tip of the iceberg. With the necessary reforms and a long-term reauthorization, it is possible to see more than $9 billion in investment and as many as 300,000 jobs saved or created each year after enactment.

Additionally, EB-5 investments will leverage other financing to further projects that otherwise would stay dormant. When domestic financing sources are difficult to secure, as during the 2008 Great Recession, EB-5 funding steps in to meet businesses’ capital demand. When capital is scarce, available EB-5 capital is critical to catalyzing and leveraging traditional funding sources.

There are an exponentially growing number of interests and associations asking for this reform and long-term reauthorization. Organizations openly supporting this initiative as something they feel will help our economic recovery include the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the Asian American Hotel Owners Association, the Arizona Commerce Authority, the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce, and many others.

This program, devised by Congress as an economic development driver, is a proven success and we need it now more than ever. We request that you include the EB-5 Regional Center program’s reform and long-term reauthorization in the next appropriation measure.

Sincerely, 

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