Thursday, February 25, 2010

American Citizens Abroad Announces Overseas Americans Week in Washington D.C. in April 2010

American Citizens Abroad (ACA), an advocacy group of US citizens living outside of the United States, announces that the next annual Washington doorknock, called the Overseas Americans Week, will take place in Washington D.C. during the week of April 19th to 23rd, 2010.Three different organizations of US citizens living abroad are organizing this doorknock week and participating in meetings with members of Congress, the US Administration and Washington research institutions. In addition to ACA, these organizations are AARO (Association of Americans Resident Overseas) and FAWCO (Federation of American Women's Clubs Overseas).Issues of vital interest to US citizens living abroad will be addressed during this doorknock week, including banking and taxation, citizenship and voting rights, social security, Medicare, and others.

Geneva, Switzerland (PRWEB) February 25, 2010 -- American Citizens Abroad (ACA) announced today that a delegation representing three different groups of United States citizens abroad will head to Washington, D.C. for Overseas Americans Week, to be held April 19 - 23rd, 2010. All three groups involved are volunteer non-profit organizations dedicated to defending the rights of US citizens who live outside of the United States.

Overseas Americans Week is an annual program of Washington visits, now in its ninth year. It embodies the commitment of overseas Americans to maintaining an ongoing and current dialogue with legislators and agencies, on issues and legislation which directly affect the lives of US citizens living around the world. With no direct representation in Washington for the millions of Americans overseas, the exchanges developed during the annual Overseas Americans Week have become increasingly crucial to giving these overseas American citizens a voice with the US Government.

In addition to representatives from ACA, this delegation of "citizen ambassadors" will include individuals representing the Association of American Residents Abroad (AARO) and the Federation of American Women's Clubs Overseas (FAWCO) The delegation's 18-strong members hail from US communities in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, and the team will closely coordinate their efforts with Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Joe Wilson (R-SC) who co-chair the Congressional Caucus of Americans Abroad. This bipartisan caucus, founded in 2007 and now counting 29 members, is the only structure in Congress which focuses on overseas Americans' issues.    

Jackie Bugnion, an economist and member of ACA's Executive Committee, noted that the group will be scheduling over 100 meetings with senior Obama Administration officials as well as with Senators and Representatives of key Congressional Committees, and with local Washington research institutions. Many issues of concern to overseas Americans will be presented and discussed, including banking and tax issues, citizenship and voting rights, as well as Medicare and Social Security benefits, among others. The highlight of the week will be a keynote speaker and a reception hosted by Overseas Americans Week and the Congressional Caucus of Americans Abroad.

The subject of banking for overseas Americans is an especially sensitive topic this year. "Many current and proposed financial measures from Congress and the Treasury Department are having a devastating impact on millions of Americans abroad, since foreign banks are refusing to open or maintain accounts for US citizens living overseas because US government compliance requirements are too complex and onerous," said Ms Bugnion.

"We want to make sure the Obama Administration and Congress are fully aware of the highly negative effect these measures would have on the US economy overall," she emphasized.

She also remarked that while law-abiding and patriotic Americans overseas make diligent efforts to comply with US tax laws and regulations, even the National Taxpayers' Advocate's most recent annual report has documented serious problems that these citizens abroad face when filing, and it has been confirmed that tax filing is much more complicated for US citizens living overseas than for those resident in the United States.

Overseas Americans Week highlights the dedication of a select group of nonpartisan overseas American organizations who have maintained this dynamic program and developed the yearly door-knock"in DC into a powerful and influential communications campaign.

The ACA website contains more detailed information at

Written by Valerie Mims, with contributions by Jackie Bugnion and Anne Hornung-Soukup of American Citizens Abroad.

ACA, the Voice of Americans Overseas

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