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  • santb1975
    09-29 11:17 AM
    I am really frustrated being in this limbo after spending more than 10 years of my life here. This great land has given a lot to me and I really want to be part of this great nation and contribute to this land all my life. However, with my status still being temporary after 10 years it does not seem logical to make long term plans or make any investments in here.

    This year 4 of my class mates (from engineering college in India) have moved out of the US. I have one other classmate who had picked a position in Singapore over one being offered in the US two years back, and he already has his PR there. He did not want the uncertainty of not know what to call home even after 5 or 8 or 10 years. He called it "settling down".

    When we were graduating from engineering college, there was peer pressure to come to the US and pursue higher education and the "American Dream". Now I feel like my time to head out may come sooner rather than later.

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  • puddonhead
    06-26 10:38 PM
    Home size may be smaller, but the land (plot) also got smaller...

    So the point is that it is pointless to compare median home prices.

    If you want to do the comparison - Case Shiller is a better bet. It tracks the sale prices of the same homes. Wiki link (

    Case Shiller Index in
    1987: 62.03
    2006 Q2 (Peak of the bubble): 189.93

    Increase - 306% over 20 years - i.e. 4.5% compounded (assuming annual compounding - less with contineous compounding).

    Compare that with other investment vehicles (e.g. the stock index) - and tell me who would have more net worth - the one who invested in a house or the one who kept investing every month in the stock market.

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  • abracadabra102
    12-27 10:46 AM
    Pakistan's nukes' user manuals are in Chinese language. How will they know how to fire them?

    LOL. and we know the kinda quality to expect :-)

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  • mrajatish
    04-09 12:08 PM
    Why do you need to hire other person if Joe is fit f
    or the job though he is not as bright as other H1b person. For example you do not need IIT graduate for QA position. For example If you want a core system software programmer in TCP/IP level or semiconductor R&D you can go brightest in the World. Bill Gates is an exception. 95% of bright people will have degree or more in current world.

    I am sorry to hear this sense of mediocrity that you want to perpetuate - maybe, I made a mistake by preaching to the wrong set of folks. The person I want to hire for a particular position should be smart enough to move to other positions (if the original position were to go away or if his/her career plans were to change). The last thing I want is to hire a person whose skills are not transferrable to a different job position.

    I have myself moved from development to management to business and all because I believe I have the base skills to be an effective, valuable employee (and alas, every time I have done the change, my GC has been re-applied).

    In a competitive world, you are better off hiring the best talent - just pay close attention to the kind of folks McKenzie/BCG hires.


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  • hopefulgc
    08-06 11:13 PM
    Abe.. lets call it "manhole".

    coz these days the environment is no better than that :D:D:D

    Mohol --> :D

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  • ArkBird
    05-01 01:42 PM
    By the way what is the actual status of this bill?


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  • mariner5555
    04-15 04:59 PM
    I suggest you stop looking at national level figures if you are seeking accurate information. Look at the specific neighborhood you have mind and you may find that the situation there is not exactly what is shown on CNN.

    As an example the DFW area is doing alright inspite of the gloomy picture painted by the media at the national level. Used homes will take longer to sell, but it is nowhere as bad as Florida or CA. And we are not discussing selling here anyway...we are discussing buying.
    what is DFW area (is it dallas ) ? I agree with what you say but in 90 % of the areas it will fall.
    In the end people have to take their own decisions and live with it (and I guess thats why many (who have already bought houses) are supporting home ownership) ..that is logical one likes to admit a mistake (not saying it is a mistake).
    my views and thinking is clear on this ..why should I buy something now at a high price ..knowing that it has a good chance of falling down by 10 - 15 %.
    (And on top of it ..when I have to deal with USCIS).

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  • krishna.ahd
    12-26 03:31 PM
    A full fledged war between India and Pakistan is very very unlikely.
    Look at


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  • Macaca
    12-30 06:23 PM
    India-China Relations: It’s the economy, and no one’s stupid ( By Joe Thomas Karackattu | Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses

    The recent visit by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao clearly had a productive focus - SinoIndian economic ties have been re-enforced, and there has been an effort to re-balance the trading relationship. This Brief uses irony to communicate five propositions (i.e. the intended meaning of these five statements is the opposite of what is stated), that can be found in several discourses on Sino-Indian ties. It evaluates these propositions in the light of the tangible and intangible gains from Premier Wen Jiabao’s second official visit to India.

    1. Obama’s visit had more substance for India

    How do you weigh a visit by a foreign Head of State or Government – one that prods a relationship in an incremental way versus one that promises a turnaround from a low baseline? The political and strategic dimension of the India-US partnership received an immense boost with Obama’s visit, and so did the economy. However, with Wen Jiaobao’s visit, India and China have prepared the ground for what hopefully shapes up to be a balanced economic and a healthy political partnership. If Premier Wen has second-placed talk of India and China being rivals – surely the political gains are waiting to be realized. Incidentally, the MoUs signed during Premier Wen Jiabao’s visit are worth $16 billion (against $10 billion worth of agreements signed during the Obama visit).

    Re-balancing of the Indian deficit (roughly USD 20 billion) from its trade with China has been promised through enhanced trade facilitation in the pharma and IT/Engineering sectors, a proposed CEO’s forum, more openness to Indian agro products, greater presence in Chinese trade fairs, and the desire for a strategic economic partnership. The present focus on infrastructure financing in India through Chinese banks is demonstrative of a ‘win-win’ situation for both sides. China’s consumer price index (CPI) 1 , a key measure of inflation, hit a two-year high of 5.1 per cent year-on-year in November 2010. Meanwhile, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC; the equivalent of the RBI in India) raised banks’ reserve requirement ratio (the deposits mandated to be withheld) for the sixth time in 2010 as a sterilization measure to prevent excess money supply from adding to inflation. Under such circumstances, Chinese banks have been foraying into lending operations elsewhere as well (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China’s (ICBC) commercial property loan in summer 2010 to a group led by private-equity firm, the Carlyle Group, in the United States is a case in point)

    Policy Focus: The push for horizontal investments from China i.e. market seeking FDI through local production seems to have received less attention. This is an area which needs to be explored fully to address employment generation in India, and for Chinese firms to have a visible household presence in India (similar to Korean and Japanese consumer durables, for instance).

    2. China has not changed. It cannot be trusted. Politically, there seems to be no progress on resolving the border dispute, and in the economic sphere there seems to be an in-built incongruence in the growth trajectories of the two countries.

    The 1962 war was the reflection of the variance in India and China’s diplomatic, ideological and political approach to bilateral ties and international affairs. Those were the years running up to the Sino-Soviet split, the US engagement in Korea, Taiwan, and the second Indochina war (all involving China), and the domestic misfortune of the Great Leap forward. China had real and perceived fears of India’s oscillation between the United States and the Soviet Union. However, today China is placed in different circumstances, both as a political power and as an economic power. It is now more deeply entrenched in the economic architecture of the world. China’s concern to develop its Western regions coupled with diminishing incentives to foreign investors on the East Coast implies a patient and consistent effort at domestic restructuring in China. The stimulus measures and other construction projects need to be absorbed, the idea of “soft infrastructure” over “hard infrastructure” i.e. transparency and corruption-control has to be pushed through, and inequity needs to be tackled both between cities and rural areas, and between provinces in China. That is a long-drawn process of reforming social security and healthcare in China, apart from administrative reforms relating to land and labour rights (hukou system).

    Intuitively, the prospects of relying on Europe and the United States as consumer markets for China over the long term are dicey (imagine how long an economy growing at 8 to 10 per cent could rely on markets that grow at between 2 and 3 per cent?). The present incongruence in the growth trajectories of India and China is ascribed to the market-first approach in China versus the business-first approach in India’s liberalization of its economy. Almost as a visible consequence, China is a larger trading nation even as the private sector there is yet to benefit from lenient financial intermediation (the State plays a big role even today). India on the other hand has a promising private sector and vibrant secondary markets even as its integration into the international economy is hindered by relatively higher tariff barriers in the country. The absence of overlap in the key growthdrivers of both countries (Industry versus Services in China and India, respectively) actually presents the most important reason for India to work with China, and for China to work with India.

    The economic imperatives for China to engage with the larger Asian region are borne out by the trends in consumption expenditures in this region. China presently is mired in the need to revive consumption expenditure internally, in order to offset the export-dependent economic engine of its growth. The Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2010, the flagship annual statistical data book of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), indicates the role that Asia stands to play as an alternate consumer market in the long term. The resilience of the middle class in Asia during the 2008-09 recession is highlighted by an estimated USD 4.3 trillion in annual expenditures during the crisis (ADB 2010). This was nearly a third of the private consumption in OECD countries, and is projected to account for 43 per cent of the worldwide consumption in 2030.

    Policy Focus: India and China have a real chance of promoting mutual economic growth and development if their economic ties are not ‘securitized’, and the issue of tariff (from India’s side) and non-tariff barriers (China’s side) and protectionism (both countries) is addressed. The CEO’s forum, for one, could initiate linkages with Chinese Universities to develop internship programmes drawing on China’s younger generation of graduates to visit Indian companies desirous of expanding operations in China.

    As for border talks, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Premier Zhou Enlai agreed in the past to have mid-level bureaucrats handle talks for mediating the border issues (Hoffmann 1990: 32). Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Premier Wen Jiabao have reached an understanding to have foreign ministers of the two countries deal with the vexed problem. Certainly, the level of engagement has been upgraded specifically vis-�-vis the border issue.

    Another important point to note is that, as per the Pew Research Centre’s Global Attitudes Project (October 2010), in 2009 46 per cent of Indians expressed a positive view of China, compared with just 34 per cent in 2010. The Chinese Ambassador to India may think that the fragility in India-China relations emerges from over-reaction to issues concerning China in India. However, the same report qualifies that only 3 per cent of Indians surveyed consider China as the greatest threat for India, whereas, despite a sanctioned media, more Chinese have negative opinion on India (only about one-third of Chinese respondents (32 per cent) have a favourable opinion).

    So where does the fragility come from? Does it arise from the ‘looseness’ of a democratic apparatus to shape public opinion? But Chinese public opinion is negative despite the regimented approach to the dissemination of information. Clearly, even if it is not the final word, these perceptions reveal how both countries need to do more to genuinely take forward the elationship at the level of ordinary citizens. The leadership in both countries has to find ways to shape debates within their countries to soft-land negotiated outcomes, if there is a genuine and concerted effort to resolve the border issue, and other contentious issues that may arise.

    Policy Focus: There is a need to cultivate individual perceptions of the other, at the level of citizens. This exercise could be executed at the level of greater tourist facilitation measures or exposure to popular culture through mass media. More Indian television programmes, dubbed in Chinese, should be promoted in China (currently only a few such programmes are broadcast in China). Surprisingly, Chinese programming (similar to NHK, DW-Asia or Russia Today) is not even on offer on most satellite networks in India. Events such as the ‘Festival of India in China’ or the ‘Festival of China in India’ should be promoted on a wider scale to involve citizen participation beyond the diplomatic corps.

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  • nojoke
    06-26 04:58 PM
    Well - your approach smells of speculation, which is pretty dangerous!!

    I take the following approach

    Left Side: Add my rent

    Right Side: Add all my expenses (mortgage + maintenance + tax)

    As soon as Left > right - it is a time to buy.

    If you get to the nitti-gritties - it can get very complicated. e.g. you usually put 20% down. Plus the principal payment is technically not "expenditure" - it is "investment in your home equity". Owning means you lose flexibility. It is impossible to put numbers against all these.

    However, my personal "estimate"/"Tipping point" (taking into account the loss of flexibility etc) is when I have positive cash flow from owning (i.e. rent > mortgage + tax + maintenance). Some very successful RE investors I know take the same approach and are very successful.

    No. Speculators generally drive up the prices. What I am doing is not speculation. It is being cautious and rational(with the data I have). The one who drove up the housing price are the ones who were speculating that it will go up in price forever and created this huge bubble. You got the meaning of speculation wrong.
    Speculation is "engagement in business transactions involving considerable risk but offering the chance of large gains, esp. trading in commodities, stocks, etc., in the hope of profit from changes in the market price."
    There are people who are waiting for the house prices to come to back to sane levels. And there are people who cannot get loan even if they wish to buy. They are not speculators.


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  • senthil1
    12-19 01:34 PM
    It is possible that India may be loser for some extent in short time. But in case of war India will come out winner if India can win decesively similar to Bangladesh war. The parliment attack or Mumbai attack deserves some military action if India is able to destroy some of Terrorist camps. But by the time India preparing for attack the terrorists will move away from their camps and success rate depends on accuracy of timing and intelligence.

    Actually for the past 20 years Terrorists(and Pakistan) lost battle as they acheived nothing by killing innocents. India became superior and biggest development in last 100 years.That is the main reason for changing tactis. Terrorists supported indirectly by Pak ISI or army tried commando attack. But still Terrorists lost battle as India somehow got some sympathy from USA and other Western Countries. I would tell Pak got frustrated as Terrorists got tired. That is the reason Pak army became reckless and indulging in Mumbai Like attacks. Everything including Kargil Pak got failure. As usual Pakistan media is patriotic to their country and they wrote one side analysis. But their media well aware that Geography of India will be huge advantage to India

    Eventually India has to try to attack Pak with international force(Similar to 9/11) if there will be another major Terrorist attack. I sincerely hope and pray God no such attacks will happen in future.

    good article..
    but i always believed, if there is a war between these countries, India will be the loser as pakistan has nothing to lose right now..we will go 10-15 yrs behind compared to other developing countires..
    The war between 2 countries is that the terrorists really want, so they get a bigger grip on pakistan and they can recruit more people into them showing this..
    Europen countries doesnt have much of a problem if they want to attack pak..
    They will bomb and just go..India will have to deal with a destabilised country and people after tht..may be for decades

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  • PD_Dec2002
    07-07 10:01 PM
    Thank you for all your support.They asked for my husband`s paystubs ,all employment history all W2`s when he filed for AOS as primary.Later we withdrew his petition and only kept petition filed through me as the primary.That officer is extremely detailed oriented ,he/she asked and questioned every minute detail pertaining to our case.
    New update on EAD is that local offices are no longer authorized to issue interim EAD`S.We went to local office in greer, south carolina(we live in charlotte,nc) and the answer we got was that they can only email uscis why there is a delay.and if we wanted to find an answer we should come back in 2 weeks and that they won`t disclose any thing by phone because of privacy act.

    So you got called for an interview?



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  • malaGCPahije
    07-14 10:33 AM
    Sure EB3-I needs help, but if the help is in the form of taking numbers away from EB2 and giving them to EB3 just based on the length of wait, then I have my serious objections to this proposal. I have said openly that I will object to it - I have never seen a post that says plainly - Yes EB3-I is stuck for 7-8 years and therefore they want numbers from EB2 because EB2 has moved ahead by 2 years. The irony is that all earlier posts imply this and talk about this request for handover in a very general way (75/25 break up, recession, lawyer input, etc).

    Visa recapture, country cap elimination is where the solution lies. That is the REAL help that EB3-Retro wants. Any short term fix purely out of sympathy, empathy, humanity, kindness is not recogniszed by law.

    I know people will pile on for speaking plainly and in a matter of fact manner, but I am amazed at the innuendo, implications and lack of straight talk.


    please read my message you quoted. I wrote nothing in support of or aganst the letter. Nothing they (earlier posts) say is going to make the dates go back or forward. All the poor folks are trying to do is maybe vent out their frustration. What difference does this make to you? No action is going to be taken based on one letter. You are safe, please enjoy your current date status.

    I can see the writing on the wall about where IV would be once most of Eb2 get their GC. It would almost stop existing.

    You and other EB2 people dates are current. Enjoy your GC. Best of luck.

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  • snathan
    01-06 05:56 PM
    Exactly. Hamas was the need of the hour for Palestinians and that why they choose their government. We may call them terrorists, but they are their legitimate government. People always chose leaders who fight for their right. Now you brand them terrorist and that will give you free hand to kill them and their people. Thats what happening. Isreal doesn't want anyone to stand up to their aggression. At the end, its poor people and children who get killed.

    If Hamas is the need of hour...why you cry foul?


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  • indio0617
    09-26 11:17 AM
    though its very tempting to support obama with all his elequent talk, I think action speaks louder than words. he has absolutely no history of doing anything in the senate, and has not worked in a bi-partisan way with the republicans to pass any thing. do you think all of a sudden as prez he's going to get things done. further his stance on matters changes as the wind blows. meanwhile mccain has a history of making things happen, even sometimes going against his party. Dem will be more interested in helping the illegals become permanent, and not the legals 'coz their sights are on the vote banks. reps in general are more pro-business, and will favor the legal as opposed to illegals. of course there are some who are against.
    someone pointed out the days were better in the 90's...i do agree that was a period of boom in the us economy with the rise of the dot com companies. but towards the end of the 90's, the dot com going bust, the us economy was heading in recession. and adding to that the rise of other economic powers like china, india, russia, the competition grew intense, and started to hurt the US economy much. However to the credit of the repub prez the SU economy came out from the inital recession, and the overall unemployment % was only ~5.4%, the lower in several decades incl the 90's. I think it was only through the right economic and pro-business policies of this admin that helped in this. of course the wars and the housing bubble has brought us to this new economic situations. It would require the next admin to frame policies that would keep US out of next recession.
    but with dems policies of higher taxes on business (of course higher taxes on you and me), and more govt spending using mine and your tax dollars (of course our ss which we might never see) to hand it out to the lazy, and good for nothing people, you'll def see the US economy going into deeper recession. on top of that the universal health care would see us going the way of CA and europe with health care rationing, and long lines.
    I could go on adding the benefits e.g. favorable deals with india the repubs would bring, but I thinks this is good for now.
    so I would suggest stop going with the age old mentality and blindly believing that the dems are best. Start to think rationally.

    You hit it right on the nail ! Very precisely put. Read between the lines and do not get carried away by 'eloquent' speeches. Deeds are stronger than words. Look at how the democratic agenda is framed. It has never been in favor of business, enterprise or innovation. Putting things into respective Obama & co will suffocate us with all the socialist agenda and stagnating policies.

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  • Macaca
    08-01 08:15 PM
    Lobbying Reform, at Last ( Congress should finish it before going home, July 31, 2007

    IT WASN'T EASY, it took too long, and it's not done yet -- but before Congress leaves for its August recess, it should have completed a lobbying reform bill that would, for the first time, require disclosure of the bundles of campaign checks that lobbyists bring in for politicians. We say "should have" because the measure -- having not gone through the normal conference committee process -- needs to clear significant hurdles in both the House and Senate. Lawmakers of both parties, in both houses, must ensure that that happens before going home to face constituents who appear increasingly unhappy about a Congress they perceive as looking after its own interests, not theirs.

    The lobbying package makes important changes, some of which were written into House rules in January. It would prohibit lawmakers and staff members from accepting gifts or travel from lobbyists and their clients. It would end lawmakers' ability to fly on corporate aircraft at cut-rate prices; senators and White House candidates would have to pay regular charter rates for such flights, while House members would simply be barred from accepting travel on private jets. It would lengthen, from one year to two, the revolving-door prohibition on senators and Senate staff members; the House limit would remain at one year.

    It would require that senators pushing pet projects known as earmarks make that information available at least 48 hours in advance of a vote and certify that they and their immediate family members have no financial stake in the items; earmarks added in conference could be challenged and would have to receive 60 votes to survive. Lobbyists would also have to report gifts made to presidential libraries, now a financial disclosure black hole.

    Most important, the measure would require lawmakers to include on their campaign finance reports the identities of lobbyists who raise $15,000 or more for them during a six-month period -- shining a needed light on an important source of influence. Keeping this requirement part of the bill was a difficult, and important, achievement.

    This agreement will be brought up on the House floor today, under rules allowing it to pass quickly with two-thirds support. Then it goes to the Senate, where it is expected to run into opposition from Republican Sens. Jim DeMint (S.C.) and Tom Coburn (Okla.) over whether the earmarking rules are strict enough; because it involves a change in Senate rules, 67 votes will be needed for passage. Leadership from Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) will be critical to ensure that the complaints of a few senators are not allowed to derail a change that is badly needed and long overdue.


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  • Macaca
    01-28 09:01 AM
    Lou Dobbs does not present all facts. He presents facts to support his agenda; he is against legal immigration. He is NOT a news reporter. This is very obvious. Most balanced minds ignore his rants.

    He is the only one on CNN who presents his opinions. I think he has a special contract. CNN wants viewers with his opnion.

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  • fide_champ
    04-04 11:43 PM
    We just offered for a townhome and the offer has been accepted. We are now waiting for the process to take its course and hopefully settle in the house in a month. Thanks for all those who gave their valuable suggestions/ideas.

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  • americandesi
    08-06 02:09 PM
    After making a trip of South India, Santa Singh, his wife and his son were returning to Punjab in Tamilnadu Express.

    Santa Singh was occupying the lower berth, his wife the middle berth and his son the top most berth in the train. When the train stopped at one of the stations on the way back the son requested Santa Singh to bring him a cup of Ice cream to which Santa readily agreed. When Santa and his son returned they found that a South Indian who couldn't understand Hindi had occupied his son's berth.

    Outraged, Santa Singh called the TT and asked him to help. TT requested that he could not understand Hindi/Punjabi so it would be better if Santa Singh explained the whole situation to him in English.

    Santa Singh explained, "That man sleeping on top of my wife is not giving birth to my child."

    08-05 11:14 AM
    What a Bull Sh** ?? Are you saying that ppl who have applied under eb2 are the only ones who satisfy the eb2 criteria and eb3s can not satisfy the eb2 criteria ??? Come on ...this eb2 and eb3 thing is highly abused by lawyers, employers or employees .. I guess, you are in eb2 but I am sure if you go line by line of the law to recheck your eb2 eligibility, you might not even qualify for eb10,11, etc ....
    Well said. But in a little rude way.

    05-16 08:04 AM
    Democrats Under Scrutiny As They Shape Lobbying Bill ( By Elizabeth Williamson ( Washington Post Staff Writer, Tuesday, May 15, 2007

    House Democratic leaders yesterday discussed key elements of a long-awaited lobbying reform bill, which has been seen as a signal test of Speaker Nancy Pelosi's pledge to bring unprecedented transparency to the Democratic-led institution.

    While the legislation would open congressional lobbying to greater public scrutiny, its contours hint at a behind-the-scenes battle by the leadership to retain its most sweeping new measures.

    The bill will be unveiled today at a Democratic caucus meeting, where more changes will be discussed. At the meeting last night, party leaders debated the proposal's three most important provisions, which appear headed for varying fates.

    Watchdog groups and freshman members who rode into Congress on promises of ethics reform see as most critical a section imposing stricter reporting guidelines on the practice of "bundling," in which lobbyists gather and deliver bundles of contribution checks to a member. In an effort to prevent opponents of that measure from killing the entire bill, Democrats may address bundling in a separate bill or amendment, to be introduced in tandem with the main legislation.

    The House bill is likely to drop a second key provision, requiring that lobbyists who orchestrate grass-roots letter-writing and telephoning campaigns disclose their involvement.

    The third new element -- a "revolving door" measure doubling, to two years, the time members must wait after leaving Congress before lobbying former colleagues -- is expected to be included in the final bill.

    Other provisions impose disclosure requirements on lobbyist-paid meetings and parties, contributions to charities, and other sponsored activities. Disclosure records would be posted online, in a searchable format.

    The House Judiciary Committee is expected to formally draft the bill Thursday, with a vote anticipated before the Memorial Day recess.

    "I believe that the voters are going to be watching carefully to see whether we address this issue," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), sponsor of the bundling measure. "We are letting our members know that this is an important issue for the Democratic agenda. . . . We're very focused on getting this done."

    Sponsors and watchdogs had hoped the House lobbying reform bill would go further than the Senate's version, passed with great fanfare in the opening days of the new Congress. Instead, it appears to closely track the Senate bill, which also did not include restrictions on grass-roots lobbying. In recent weeks, according to several people close to the talks, the Senate had been pushing the House to narrow the bundling restrictions in its version, by limiting reporting requirements to clearly defined fundraising agreements between lobbyists and members. The House bill as discussed would do that.

    Passage of a weaker bill -- chiefly, one without bundling rules -- would disappoint watchdogs, who have waged a lobbying campaign of their own for the new law.

    "I am sensing a fading of enthusiasm for lobbying and ethics reform, which is why we have to get this done as soon as we can," said Craig Holman of advocacy group Public Citizen. "The longer we wait, the weaker this bill seems to get." Holman said he is lining up legislators to introduce, as amendments, any major portions of the lobbying bill eliminated in this week's discussions.

    Democrats' promise to end the "culture of corruption" they said developed in Washington under Republican rule helped propel the party into the majority in November elections. They quickly tightened the rules over travel, meals and gifts from lobbyists, and improved disclosure rules for earmarks -- the pet projects that lawmakers tuck into legislation.

    But a task force appointed by Pelosi (D-Calif.) to look into creating an independent entity to investigate ethics charges against lawmakers has missed its May 1 deadline for issuing recommendations, amid foot-dragging by members opposed to the idea.

    House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) said the party's leadership considers ethics reform "an obligation."

    "We as a party successfully talked about a culture of corruption, and one of the pledges we made was to change that," he said. To do so, he added, "you've got to change the laws, and people's attitudes."