S. 1813, the highway (robbery) bill with amendments that let the Treasury Department ban credit cards from non-FATCA banks and give the IRS the power to take away expats’ passports, passed the Senate by a vote of 74-22 with 4 abstentions. The bill will now go to the House, where it will face off against H.R. 7, a competing surface transport bill by Rep. John Mica (R-FL).
I owe readers an apology for getting this bill’s name wrong last time I wrote about it. I should hardly have expected it to have such a sensible name as “Surface Transportation Act”. In fact it was originally called the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act”; now it has been given the grandiose new name of “America Fast Forward Financing Innovation Act”. Indeed, America is becoming increasingly “innovative” in how it finances highways, by finding new ways to tax, fine, and harass people who don’t use those highways in the first place.
OpenCongress.org has the roll call for the bill’s passage — those of you who vote in the U.S. may want to check what your senator did. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who never met an anti-expat provision he didn’t like, went against his own party and voted in favour of the bill. More disappointingly, Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who not two months ago went over to Switzerland to raise money from expats, turned around and gave a slap in the face to expatriates everywhere with her “aye” vote for this bill. Now we wait to see whether the members of the Americans Abroad Caucus will lift a finger to get these amendments stripped from the bill.
Have to read this article about US Senator Max Baucus(apparently creator of the passport cancellation provision)
@tim, thanks for the insight into Baucus
Proxy detention? NDAA? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZE_9LV2IpI
A bit of good news…. It appears that the Senate Bill is being held up so far in the House… See this article from The Hill.
“The current legislation that authorizes funding for road and public transit programs is set to expire on March 31. The House has said it will not vote on the Senate’s two-year, $109 billion version of the transportation measure, but the lower chamber has said it will attempt to pass a three-month extension of the current legislation, which expired in 2009.”
This bill has already passed the senate. Please contact your representatives in congress and instruct them to vote no for senate bill 1813 before it is too late.
If you do not act now soon some ignorant socialist congressman will introduce a law to take away your drivers license for some frivolous reason. Seriously it will happen if this bill becomes law.
Also instruct your representatives to vote no for any bill that limits freedom for Americans.
Everyone knows the problem with the deficit is spending. You could take away everyone’s passport and driving license and you still would not be able to fix the deficit.
These soviet style tactics of limiting peoples freedom is going to backfire. As was in the other repressive societies the wealthy and middle class people will just leave the USA permanently and start paying their taxes to another country that does not have soviet style repression. As you should know this is already happening. Many wealthy and middle class people are already leaving the USA.
This bill is causing stress and strife in the country and polarizing the American people. This is never a good situation.
Please instruct your representatives to focus on the problem of spending and stop these repressive tactics that accomplish nothing but the polarization of the people.
Seriously soon some ignorant socialist congressman will attempt to take away the drivers licenses of the American people for some frivolous reason that will accomplish nothing and further erode American values and pride.
There is an ever growing erosion of American pride and an ever increasing embarrassment of being American. Bills and laws that limit American freedom and erode American pride are making the USA the laughing stock of the world.
When I see attachments to bills like the one giving the IRS power to suspend or revoke an Americans right to travel it makes me sick. It makes me feel embarrassed to be an American. Please try to stop the politicians from destroying our country.
Also Instruct your representatives to initiate a bill that makes the ability to travel a right and not just a privilege so the politicians will never be able to do this repressive act in the future. I don’t want the government of my country to be able to limit travel and control Americans like other repressive governments. I want to be free and proud of my country the USA.
Also please instruct your congressman to talk to other congressman to stop this bill from becoming law.
The link to contact your representative. https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml
I was under the impression that this bill was already voted in the house.
Can we include loss of citizenship as well in the bill?
@Joe Smith, Don’t we wish!
So they want the IRS involved with passports and now they want the IRS involved with healthcare too. Unbelievable!
The House killed the Senate version, and passed a 3 month extension of the existing bill which was then agreed to in the Senate and signed by Obama. So we have a stand off right now on the Senate version. Not sure if HR 7, the House version will give way to the Senate version in the up coming battle. It will be one to keep your eyes on.
@Tom Stevens, regarding this Health Law, it seems like Obama is just sending more money to the IRS outside of the normal appropriations process. . It makes sense because they keep adding to [wasting] IRS agents’ resources by chasing phantom fat-cats living abroad.
The IRS has proved how sensitively and sensibly they handle and respond to the concerns of US ‘persons’ – so I feel absolutely certain that they will bring those finely honed skills to the delicate task of collecting AND ENFORCING healthcare provisions.
Bring out that big pointy stick, works every time right?
Why don’t they just call the health care penalty a tax which is what it really is. Oh, but then the Republicans could say the Democrats are raising taxes on everyone in the middle of a recession. Can’t have that. Their cover would be blown. They want people to think they only raise taxes on the rich.
Just an update:
re: e-mail to the the National Retail Federation (re banning credit cards from non-compliant Foreign Financial Institutions – no response or even an robo-reply. I’ll be thinking twice about any crossborder shopping.
Oh wait, I forgot, we spent more than our discretionary funds budget on specialized tax services this year – and the fees added to the Canadian economy – now there’s nothing left to spend on those online or in-person US purchases! Too bad US.
I’m referring to http://isaacbrocksociety.com/2012/03/08/son-of-fatca-proposal-heading-for-senate-approval-3/ and the initiative to “let the Treasury Department ban credit cards from non-FATCA banks”
Just heard this from ACA…
Don’t have a link yet.
Now triple posting it… LOL
YES, indeed! Now available online in black and white:
pp.56-57 The Reid Amendment (passport denial/revocation/limitation): “The conference agreement does not include the Senate amendment provision.”
pp. 73-76 The Levin Amendment on action against certain FFIs (including blocking electronic transfers): “The conference agreement does not include the Senate amendment provision.”
Brings tears to the eyes. OK, now that conferees have agreed to the conference report — what next? Must admit I don’t know nuances of procedure. Both houses still have to agree/not oppose before it goes to the President for signature?
Updated information: Both Houses adopt the Conference Report; the bill is then passed; there is some paper work done (the bill is “enrolled”); it is sent to the President for signature; at which point it becomes law. Signature could be rushed to tomorrow I suppose.
For those following this…
Game over… for now!
CF&P Applauds Exclusion of Anti-Tax Haven Legislation From Surface Transportation Bill
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