THE MALONEY, HONDA, RANGEL PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION INITIATIVE: SOMETHING OF SUBSTANCE THIS TIME, OR ANOTHER POTEMKIM VILLAGE EXERCISE?

DEAR OVERSEAS AMERICAN FRIENDS,

As the GovTrack.us website indicates (see below), HR 6263, the latest Maloney, Honda, Ranger legislative initiative to create a new Presidential Commission, introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday (see attached), is highly unlikely to go anywhere during the current 112th Congress, alas, alas.

But there is something even deeper, more relevant, and frustrating about all of this too.

If Congresswoman Maloney really wanted to do something positive and useful, and right away too, and with a 100% probability of success, all she would have to do is send a letter to the GAO asking for a new study of the cost-benefit consequences of U.S. federal income taxation based on citizenship rather than residency, and whether the United States is really a stronger country now because of this uniquely self-destructive practice among the major trading nations of the world, that has now gotten much worse during the last three years.  

Overseas Americans have been asking her to request such a study from the GAO for quite a while now, but with no positive response from her at all so far. It would be so easy to do. We are profoundly puzzled and wonder why this has still not happened?

The 1981 GAO report on American Employment Abroad Discouraged By U.S. Income Tax Laws” is also attached, and it makes a very powerful statement about how harmful this practice already was seen to be more than thirty years ago!!

All of which suggests that maybe, just maybe, while this new Commission initiative is most welcome, and also long overdue, going down this highly improbable Presidential Commission route, rather than asking for another GAO report, could just be another Potemkin-Village exercise, trying to make it look like there is sincere interest in helping overseas Americans, but without any risk of anything embarrassing ever really happening.

What a strange Hollywood world we all seem to inhabit today!!

What do you think about all of this, and what do you think we should be doing now??

All the very best and take care,  Andy


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MALONEY, HONDA, RANGEL INTRODUCE BILL TO CREATE BIPARTISAN COMMISSION ON HOW U.S. GOVERNMENT SERVES AMERICANS LIVING OVERSEAS

Congresswoman Maloney’s website, 1 August 2012. Press Contact: Jon Houston (202) 225-7944

WASHINGTON, DC – Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Mike Honda (D-CA), and Charles Rangel (D-NY) have introduced H.R.6263, legislation to create a Federal commission to study the impact of government policies upon the millions of Americans living overseas.

“Americans living and working overseas constitute a kind of unsung constituency,” Maloney said.

“They pay taxes and vote, but U.S. policies and laws can have unintended and sometimes irrational consequences on their lives-- because no entity in Washington is paying attention. These hardworking citizens are our country’s informal ambassadors around the globe and help strengthen the U.S. economy and promote American influence. Their concerns about how their government interacts with them deserve to be heard-- and paid attention to-- here in Washington.”

“As a member of the Congressional Americans Abroad Caucus, I am proud to fully support the Commission on Americans Living Abroad Act, authored by my friend and Caucus Co-Chair Carolyn Maloney,’ Honda said.

“Millions of U.S. citizens who are living and working abroad have voiced their concerns regarding the harmful impacts of federal policies-- often unintentional-- on their lives. These Americans abroad promote U.S. influence around the globe and help our economy thrive, yet our federal policies often disenfranchise them from becoming citizen ambassadors or even returning to the U.S. It is time we acquire a thorough, comprehensive understanding of the federal policy impacts on these Americans, which this bill would provide.”

"This commission would give Congress an opportunity to look under the hood of this issue and see what's working, what isn't, and what can work better," Rep. Rangel said.

"It's our elected responsibility to ensure American citizens here and abroad are equally protected by their nation's laws and Executive actions."

Full text of H.R.6263 is attached.

BACKGROUND ON THE LEGISLATION

Rep. Maloney is co-founder and Chair of the Americans Abroad Caucus in the House. Find out more here.

This legislation creates a 15-member bipartisan Executive Commission to study the impact of U.S. laws and Executive actions on the overseas Americans community. The study would then be used to make recommendations for actions Congress and the Executive Branch could take to improve collaboration and communication of policies impacting this community.

The intent of the review is to ensure awareness, coordination, and integration of the activities of the federal government relating to Americans abroad. Specific areas of federal policy the Commission is charged with looking into are tax and banking policy (including FATCA, Banking Secrecy Act, USA PATRIOT Act), immigration, voting, access to federal benefits (Medicare, Social Security), and student loans.

There is an initial study due one year after enactment, and then one year following that report an update of what actions the federal government has taken based on recommendations from the initial report.

BILL OVERVIEW FROM GOVTRACK.US

Status:
Introduced
Aug 01, 2012
Referred to Committee
Aug 01, 2012
Prognosis:
This bill has a 1% chance of being enacted.
The following factors were considered:
The sponsor is a member of the minority party. (-2%)

Just 4% of all House bills in the 111th Congress, 2009–2010, were enacted.

 


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