Tom Fina's Letter from Washington

To Democrats Abroad
26 December  2015
Tom Fina
Executive Director Emeritus
The year closes, and the new year approaches,  both with a surprising mix of good and bad political news.
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Welcome to the new Dems Abroad Website

Here at Democrats Abroad, we're excited to share our most recent project - the creation of a new website and membership system for U.S. Democrats all around the world. Explore the site to find news stories that are both global and also local to your country. Check out events near you. Shop in our store and pick up a calendar for next year, and read up on some of the issues that DA is working on today, for you and for all U.S. Democrats living abroad. 

FATCA Update: October - December 2015

After an action packed September full of results and news, our FATCA work has continued apace. The results are not as evident in this last quarter as they were in September, but we continue working to generate Senate support for "Same Country Safe Harbor", details below.

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Democratic Candidate Focus: Hillary Clinton

An important figure in American politics for over 20 years, Hillary Clinton arrived on the political scene in 1992 alongside her husband, former President Bill Clinton, then governor of Arkansas, with the promise of becoming a forceful partner in his administration.


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Democratic Candidate Focus: Bernie Sanders

The Vermont senator calls himself a Democratic Socialist, and many of his views match those of the Democratic left, where he has found a still small yet devout following. Sanders says his purpose in running is to fight planned trade deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and to overhaul business tax rules, thus fighting economic inequality.

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Democratic Candidate Focus: Martin O'Malley


Advocate for financial reform and gun control Martin O'Malley, former governor of Maryland, announced his candidacy for President on May 30 in Baltimore. 

Born January 18, 1963 in Washington, D.C. and raised in Bethesda and Rockville, Maryland, O’Malley graduated from The Catholic University of America and earned a doctorate in law from the University of Maryland.

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FATCA News Flash: Preliminary Injunction

As noted in our September update, a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of FATCA is working its way through the courts.  Yesterday the judge ruled on the plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction which would bring the implementation of FATCA to a halt pending the outcome of the case. 

Judge Rose of the Southern District Court of Ohio has denied the plaintiffs' request for a preliminary injunction

The case will carry on and subject the law to some very interesting and important tests.  We will continue to keep you apprised of developments.  We believe, however, that destroying FATCA in the courts will take many years to come, and so we continue to call for immediate action by Treasury and the IRS that could relieve overnight the severe and unnecessary impact FATCA has on innocent Americans living abroad.

Please send questions or comments to

FATCA Update: September 2015

As those following FATCA would expect, a great deal has happened this month – and it is not over yet.  This is due largely to (what we were treating as – see below!) the looming September 30 2015 deadline for the first transfer of the financial account information of US Persons to the IRS under the terms of the FATCA legislation, regulation and intergovernmental agreements.

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DSP Announcement

Democrats Abroad has submitted our Delegate Selection Plan to the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee.  

The Delegate Selection Plan governs the process by which members of Democrats Abroad have a voice in the selection of the Democratic Presidential nominee. It also provides Democrats living outside of the United States the opportunity to represent Democrats Abroad as delegates at the Democratic National Convention from July 25-28, 2016 in Philadelphia.  

The proposed plan includes holding a Global Presidential Primary from March 1-8, 2016 in which votes may be cast in person, by regular mail, by fax, or by email. The plan also calls for Regional Caucuses in April or May and a Global Convention in mid-May.

More details to follow.

FATCA Update: August 2015

Update on our Grassroots Campaign in support of the FATCA Same Country Safe Harbor for Americans Abroad

It’s been a tremendously busy month for the FBAR/FATCA Task Force.  I’ll try to keep this account of our work succinct:

  • As you know from last month’s report, the co-chairs of the Americans Abroad Caucus, Rep Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Rep Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), have drafted a letter from Congress to the Treasury and the IRS asking for them to urgently implement the FATCA Same Country Safe Harbor for Americans abroad.[1]  Representatives Maloney and Mulvaney circulated the letter on Capitol Hill with a covering letter asking their Congressional colleagues to sign on.
  • Democrats Abroad launched our grassroots campaign shortly thereafter, asking Americans abroad to message their members of Congress urging them to sign on to the letter.  Our goal was 1,000 messages.
  • At the end of the first week more than 5,200 individuals participated in the campaign.
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