Congressional Contact

This May, DA's newly-elected leaders from every country committee will gather in Washington, DC, to elect our international executive committee, debate charter amendments, and much more.

One tradition at our Washington meeting is to visit our members' Congressional delegations in what we call the Congressional Door Knock. This year, we've set five priorities for this effort, based on member input: 

  • strengthening overseas voting rights, especially for US children born abroad;
  • reforming FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act);
  • pushing for RBT (Residence Based Taxation);
  • maintaining and refunding the Election Assistance Commission, and advocating for local, publicly available recordkeeping on overseas voter participation; and
  • hindering the proposed State Department budget cuts (including funding for American Citizen Services, educational exchanges, USAID, etc.).

While we're on the Hill advocating for our members' shared interests, we would love to hand-deliver your personal messages as constituents directly to your Senators and Representatives.

Please send your letters and emails directly to your Congressional delegation, but also send a copy with the title DOOR KNOCK in cc: to takeaction@democratsabroad.org. We will print and hand-deliver those messages to any delegation member on our meeting schedule. 

In order to be included, your message must be received by May 13, 2017.

Don't hesitate to use the resources below if you're not sure who your Representative or Senators are, you need some guidance on how to best craft a letter, or you'd like a short calling script on our door knock issues. We've got you covered!

DC Door Knock, May 2017

Write a Letter to Congress!

Door Knock Letter Tips

For purposes of this campaign, letters should be limited to a single page.

The 5 must-have elements in your letter or email:

1.    (Who are you?) Identify yourself as an overseas constituent.

2.    (What do you want?) ex. Specifically mention you are very concerned about the president’s budget to cut State Department funding.

3.    (Why do you want that?) Support your argument. ex. Discuss the valuable citizen services offered by U.S. embassies/consulates to Americans abroad; mention the value of foreign service employees. 

4.     (What do you want me to do about it?) ex. Tell your Member of Congress to OPPOSE funding cuts to the State Department.

5.     (Do you want me to follow up with you?) Request the member of Congress’s written response (If writing via postal mail, remind the member about the need for international postage in their response).

Make a Call to Congress!

  • Use the following calling scripts to contact your elected officials by phone on the five door knock topics:

About EAC:

Hi, my name is [NAME] and I'm a constituent from [US Voting District/address]. I currently live in [City, Country].

I'm calling today to urge [Congress Person] to oppose H.R. 634, a bill to de-fund the Election Assistance Commission. As an American living overseas, I have personally benefitted from the aid the EAC has given to states and municipalities for improving their voting technology. The EAC is one of the key government agencies working to protect the integrity of our election system. Again, please vote NO on passing H.R. 634.

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your voting street address to ensure your call is tallied]

 

About FATCA:

Hi, my name is [NAME] and I'm a constituent from [US Voting District/address]. I currently live in [City, Country].

I'm calling today to urge [Congress Person] to support H.R. 2136, a bill to reform the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). As an American living overseas, thousands of American citizens living abroad have been refused basic banking services in our host countries due to the unintended consequences of FATCA. For me and the vast majority of Americans residing overseas, we live ordinary, everyday lives. We are not all “fat cats” trying to evade US taxes and hide assets. The same-country exemption provided by H.R. 2136 would greatly help Americans abroad and finally give us access to the full range of financial services we need to live in our host communities. Again, please cosponsor and support H.R. 2136.

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full voting address to ensure your call is tallied]

 

About RBT: 

Hi, my name is [NAME] and I'm a constituent from [US Voting District/address]. I currently live in [City, Country].

I'm calling today to make [Congress Person] aware of an important issue Americans living overseas face due to a true injustice in the US tax system. I urge [Congress Person] to support legislation to move to a system of residence-based taxation – something the rest of the world has already done. The US is one of the only countries in the world that taxes citizens on worldwide income, so Americans abroad, like me, owe US tax on my income even though I live and work in [Country] for a foreign employer and also pay taxes here. Again, a residence-based system of taxation is long overdue and would provide tax fairness for US citizens aboard.

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full voting address to ensure your call is tallied]

 

About Voting Rights: 

Hi, my name is [NAME] and I'm a constituent from [US Voting District/address]. I currently live in [City, Country].

I'm calling today to make [Congress Person] aware of a grave injustice faced by Americans who were born overseas and who have never lived in the US. Several US states do not allow American citizens to vote who have never physically resided in the US. This is particularly unjust, as foreign-born children who are US citizens are subject to US tax law and required to register for the draft. Please take action on equal voting rights for those of us living abroad.

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full voting address to ensure your call is tallied]

 

About State Department Budget:

Hi, my name is [NAME] and I'm a constituent from [US Voting District/address]. I currently live in [City, Country].

I'm calling today because I’m very concerned about President Trump’s plan to severely decrease funding for the State Department, and I urge [Congress Person] to oppose these cuts. As an American who lives overseas, I am well aware of the vital services the State Department provides to overseas citizens. Our embassies and consulates provide important services to US citizens, like the registration of births abroad and passport renewal and replacement. Overseas Americans rely on these services every day. Again, please oppose any funding cuts to the State Department.

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full voting address to ensure your call is tallied]

 


General Tips and Resources


How to Write Congress

Write a letter or two to Congress. 

We've gathered tips for writing Congress here. And here's an easy look up for your senators' addressess, and your representative's address as well. 

Here are a few sample letters we've created for letter writing parties. Let us know if you're interested in hosting a letter writing party too - we'd love to hear from you and will be updating scripts regularly.  


How to Call Congress

Tips for Calling Congress


Vote from Abroad? Register to vote each year.

Take the time to register to vote. Start by going to votefromabroad.org
Remember you need to print and mail in your registration form to the US. 


Resources

Keep track of the Senate committee hearing schedule and the Senate Floor Schedule.