On July 31, 2008, by a vote of 407-2 (H.R. 6633), the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to reauthorize the E-Verify program, which is due to expire at the end of November, for another five-year period. The five-year extension is far less than the 10-year extension that was being sought by House leaders. Republican House leaders, particularly those on the House Immigration Reform Caucus, were hoping for a stronger bill which would make participation in E-Verify mandatory and would make the program permanent. Democrats were also hoping to make some improvements to the program. Ultimately, there was strong support on both sides for reauthorizing the program for another five-years.
The bill also authorizes the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to perform studies of the E-Verify system. One study will review the program to determine the causes of errors in the program. The second study will review the experiences of small businesses, nonprofit organizations and municipalities that have used the program. The bill will now head to the Senate for consideration.