The Congressional Progressive Caucus’ “Budget for All”, which would have repealed the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, was voted down by 78–346 last week. It was formally proposed as Amendment 4 to H.Con.Res. 112; OpenCongress.org has the roll call. The House passed Paul Ryan (R-WI)’s budget instead. However, regardless of the failure of the “Budget For All”, Americans Abroad Caucus members who voted in favour of it still owe an explanation to U.S. persons abroad.
As mentioned last time, nine members of the Americans Abroad Caucus are concurrently members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), the AAC co-chair, is the only CPC member out of them who opposed the CPC and voted against the Budget For All. The other seven CPC/AAC voting members supported the “Budget For All”, in complete disregard for the interests of actual U.S. persons abroad:
- Mike Honda (D-CA) — the co-sponsor of the “Budget For All”
- Janice Schakowsky (D-IL) — a vocal supporter of the “Budget For All”
- Michael Capuano (D-MA)
- Andre Carson (D-IN)
- Steven Cohen (D-TN)
- Jim McGovern (D-MA)
- Jim Moran (D-VA)
Not included in the above list is Donna Christensen, the non-voting delegate from the U.S. Virgin Islands. All non-members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus voted against the CPC’s budget, with the exception of Gregory Meeks, who abstained, as he did on every other budget vote.
However, this is only a temporary respite for Americans abroad, since every few weeks yet another bunch of anti-expat amendments gets stuffed onto the end of some unrelated bill. You may have noticed that all of the AAC members who supported the CPC budget, with the exception of Andre Carson, were also supporters of the so-called Senate “highway” bill and its provisions to confiscate passports and illegalise foreign credit cards. That bill is temporarily off the agenda thanks to John Mica (R-FL)’s alternative proposal to extend the existing highway funding law; however, it is very likely to return in June, as the expiration of Mica’s extension draws near.
My political forecast (which you may take with an appropriately-sized grain of salt): by mid-year, Congress will be getting increasingly nervous about busting through the U.S. debt ceiling yet again. So we can expect renewed public calls to cut random chunks out of the budget — which no doubt means yet another ignorant Congresscritter or his fresh-faced interns will feverishly page through the Joint Committee on Taxation’s list of so-called tax expenditures and come up with yet another “brilliant” proposal to repeal the FEIE.
Those Americans Abroad Caucus members who voted in favour of the “Budget for All” should be declared as “persona non grata” by our govt’s ’til they can prove “reasonable cause” why they did so!!!! 😉
@UncleTell I don’t see what reasonable cause they could have. What a mess.
Thanks Eric…Well, figured that budget wasn’t going anywhere in the House, but still why these guys voted against their caucus best interest is a mystery. They know we are too scattered and so don’t matter.
Good news though 🙂
@just me; Just because it was voted down does not mean that it is gone forever. This same proposal to abolish lhe Foreign Earned Income Exclusion rears is ugly head over and over.Chuck Grassley (R,IA), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee for many years until the Democrats took over the senate a few years back, has many times stated his opposition to any FEIE. I once called his office to find out how he had voted on the Tax Reform of 1976 which was the first legislation that really hit Overseas Americans very hard. He was a freshman Congressman at that time. The staff member who answered my calll checked and called me back in a few minutes to confirm that not only did he vote yea on that 1976 legislation, but that he had been one of its cosponsors.
Grassley has more than once expressed his conviction that US citizens living abroad serve no useful purpose.
Charles Grassley should be put out to pasture at his own farm in Iowa. At 78 years old he’s stuck in the world of 1955 when America was at the top of its game. His rhetoric “An American in Peoria can’t exclude any salary or housing costs from taxable income. Why should an American in Paris not face reasonable limits?”
Well Senator…..because in Europe we pay $8/gal for gasoline, 20% VAT, and other comsumption taxes the US hasn’t started believing in yet. That’s why.
@John, In addition Senator Grassley should understand than an American born in Peoria to a immigrant mother from Paris is able to exclude all of his US income and housing costs frrom being taxed by the French government. And his immigrant mother likewise is not taxed one cent by France. Why should persons born in the US be treated any differently than persons born in any other country of the world are treated by their countries of citizenship when they move to live in another country? Only one: The United States taxes its citizens no matter where they make their abode, and their children born abroad as well.
@Roger – obviously all these issues have all been well discussed. The US Congress will do nothing regarding our ex-pat issues, that’s why it has to be tackled the way the Canadians have done it – bring the issue to their government’s front door.
Also there’s a number of journalists that say it’s going to be global FATCA, but I ask if your running a residence based taxation system, what incentive is there going to be for other governments to keep “helping” out the Americans who want to use citizenship-base taxation (because the Americans will have far more requests for data).
Fareed Zacharia wrote a piece in Time about the conveyer belt of cash the US government spends in maintaining the US’s status as the most incarcerated nation on the planet.
I’ve noticed that on his CNN show, Fareed Zacharia GPS, he’s been a lot more outspoken lately in his criticism of US policies. As noted by omghesstillanamerican, he supports a two page tax code. Let’s hope he’s filing all those FBAR’s in India.
Too bad. The FTC is a super bad deal and nobody will scream about it unless they feel the pain…
Once they feel the pain, they will put the effort to learn about all of the other far worse nasties imposed by congress: capital gains, retirement taxation, unemployment taxation, inheritance taxation…
Killing FEIE would take away complacency on both sides of the border.
Fareed Zacharia is one of the few good things that CNN has going for it. He is probably more aligned with Ron Paul’s positions on taxation and foreign policy than any other commentator on the Cable News Networks. Progressives embrace him, so maybe they will pay attention to his calls for simpler tax system. Nah,I take that back. 🙂