Overseas Americans Week
Overseas Americans Week (OAW) was held during the week of February 11th, 2013. ACA and its sister organizations attended over 80 appointments with Congressional offices on the Hill in both the House and the Senate. The primary focus was to meet with members on the Ways and Means Committee the Senate Finance Committee and the Joint Committee on Taxation to advocate for our Residence-based taxation (RBT), a proposal that the ACA tax team has developed and refined over the past 18 months.
We received good support in a majority of offices and a general openness in most others to consider RBT. It was clear throughout the week that a majority of offices were already familiar with RBT and all offices are aware of the damages to the community of Americans abroad and the US economy, resulting from FATCA legislation in addition to citizenship-based taxation. This proves that ACA’s advocacy over the past 18 months, which has included targeted meetings with the legislature, meetings with the Chair and Ranking Members of both the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee, interviews with media outlets and the dissemination of our message via social media networks is having an effect.
In all our meetings, tax reform is actively being considered as is evidenced by the Ways & Means committee announcement on March 1st that it is seeking input from stakeholders and advocacy organizations in anticipation of formulation of new tax legislation. ACA will be providing input and hopes to participant in eventual hearings that will be held on this very important subject. ACA met with many of the legislators who now sit on the 11 tax reform committees and our Washington DC offices will be following up on our contacts and keeping the momentum going.
During our OAW, ACA raised issues concerning access to Banking, both overseas and stateside, Voting access, Citizenship transmission and other issues important to the overseas American community. ACA and sister organizations met with the State Department and other advocacy organizations, which are also concerned with these same issues.
A highlight event of the week was Congresswoman Maloney’s, Co-chair of the Americans Abroad Caucus, introduction of legislation calling for a Presidential Commission to investigate the issues affecting Americans overseas. HR 597 is a key starting point for addressing issues affecting the nearly 7 million Americans living and working overseas. ACA will be engaging in a member supporter effort to get support behind HR 597 in the weeks to come. However, you can make a first step in support of this legislation via PopVox.
Meeting in the House Ways and Means Committee Library