Moore sponsors resolution supporting BridgeUSA exchange programs

U.S. Rep. Blake Moore (R-UT) on Feb. 2 sponsored a bipartisan resolution expressing congressional support for the BridgeUSA exchange programs, which annually attract around 300,000 individuals to the United States from 200 countries and territories to study in American high schools.

“I am proud to introduce this resolution reaffirming Congress’ bipartisan support of the BridgeUSA programs,” said Rep. Moore. “As I have traveled across Utah’s First Congressional District, the message I have heard from community and business leaders alike is that these programs simply work.” 

“Not only do they deepen ties between our communities and our allies abroad, but they allow our employers to fill important vacancies and address the challenging workforce shortages that exist here in Utah and across the nation,” he said.

Rep. Moore introduced House Resolution 901 with original cosponsor U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster (D-NH) expressing the sense of their chamber that BridgeUSA exchange programs are vital to the economy and national interests of the United States, and that Congress should prioritize robust support to ensure equitable opportunities for Americans and people from other countries, according to the resolution’s text.

Formerly the Exchange Visitor J-1 Visa Program, BridgeUSA is a student-led organization created in 2016 by young people to build a movement that champions dialogue, ideological diversity, and solution-oriented politics. The program has expanded to over 40 college campuses around the nation and recently launched high school chapters, according to its website.

Program participants fill workforce needs, strengthen America’s tourism industry and cultural diversity, and advance the nation’s important diplomatic efforts domestically and abroad, according to Rep. Moore. 

“It is essential Congress does its part to strengthen this program and ensure American businesses have the workforce they need, especially in regions like the North Country where visiting workers fill critical vacancies during the busy tourism season,” said Rep. Kuster.

The resolution has received support from numerous national, state and local organizations and stakeholders, including the Alliance for International Exchange, the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance, the U.S. Travel Association, the International Society of Hotel Associations, HospitalityMaine, the Intermountain Ski Areas Association, the New Jersey Amusement Association, and several state Chambers of Commerce, among many others.