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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Senate panel voted on Tuesday to make it easier for U.S. companies to hire foreign workers as part of a broad immigration bill being debated in Congress.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted for the amendment, which would loosen requirements that employers recruit Americans ahead of foreigners for high-tech jobs.

The compromise was brokered by Democratic Senator Charles Schumer to win over Senator Orrin Hatch, a Republican whose support is seen as important to bring other conservatives on board with broader immigration reform.

(Reporting by Caren Bohan, Richard Cowan and Rachelle Younglai; editing by Christopher Wilson)