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Public Statements

Introduction of Commission on Americans Living Abroad Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mrs. MALONEY. Mr. Speaker, U.S. citizens who live and work abroad serve as American's informal ambassadors, helping to strengthen the United States economy and promoting American influence around the globe. For years I have worked to ensure overseas Americans are able to exercise their right to vote and have access to banking services. Five years ago I formed the Congressional Americans Abroad Caucus to focus and bring awareness to the concerns of the 4-6 million U.S. citizens residing abroad. Because they're scattered across the world, it can be hard for Americans living abroad to get the attention of Congress. U.S. citizens remain Americans wherever they are in the world and should not be ignored.

Americans living and working outside the U.S. continue to voice concerns regarding the impact of federal policies on voting, access to financial institutions, immigration, and taxation. Given that these and other federal policies affecting Americans abroad cover an array of agencies, we should study the full impact of these policies on the overseas community. That is why today I am introducing the Commission on Americans Living Abroad Act, creating an Executive Commission expressly charged with examining the concerns of U.S. citizens living and working abroad. This new legislation creates a 15 member panel 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. Through this study we can better ensure awareness, coordination, and integration of the activities of the federal government relating to Americans abroad. Thanks to original cosponsors Reps. Michael Honda and Charles Rangel for their support of the bill and their advocacy on behalf of overseas Americans.

It is time we take a systemic look at all the issues affecting our citizens living abroad. Through this bipartisan Commission we can establish the state of policies and rules affecting Americans abroad so we can better serve their needs as they live and work in our global economy. I urge my colleagues to support the bill.

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