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    Your Help Needed - to pass House Bill



    FAWCO endorses AIWC Cologne's call on their members to write to their Representatives in support of Bill HR 597.  We call on the global FAWCO family to take 10 minutes and give Americans living overseas a voice. 

    House Reps Carolyn Maloney (NY) and Mike Honda (CA) have introduced Bill HR 597 to create a bi-partisan commission to study the impact of government policies upon the millions of Americans living overseas.

    FAWCO, which is vital in advocating in Washington on behalf of American women and their families living overseas, are calling on all members to rally support for this bill, which would then provide recommendations for actions Congress and the Executive Branch could take to improve communication and collaboration impacting the 6 million Americans living overseas.

    If you are an American citizen, wife/spouse to an American citizen or mother of American citizens, how can you help? This week is the annual American Overseas Week where members from FAWCO, AARO (Association of Americans Resident Overseas) and ACA (American Citizens Abroad) hold meetings with Congress to build awareness and dialogue about issues concerning Americans living overseas. Your representative needs to hear from you expressing your support for Bill HR 597 when they are focused on the needs of overseas Americans.  

    Please contact your House rep and ask them to support and co-sponsor Bill HR 597. A simple email will be quick and effective for letting them know this is an important issue to you. We'll include a short message at the end that you can copy, paste, fill in with your own details and then email to your rep. It should take about 15 - 20 minutes and will make a world of difference for you and all the American citizens, including military personnel, living abroad.

    Here's how you can find your Rep and send them an email:  
    1. Go here and type in the Zip code of the address where you are registered to vote: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
    2. If you need your 4 digit extension go to www.usps.com, type in your address and it will give you the full zip code plus extension
    3. Once you've found your rep, click on his or her name, it will take you to their website
    4. Navigate to "Contact" or "Send me an email" it's usually very clear on their website
    5. On some websites you'll need to input your zip code plus 4 digit extension to get to the email contact form
    6. Fill in your information and include a short note asking them to support Bill 597. Don't forget to tell them about yourself and why it's meaningful to you (you and your family live overseas!) You can also copy and paste the note below but make sure to fill in YOUR personal information.
    7. Hit "Send" !
    It is important that you do this soon as after Overseas Americans Week this week, they will be more attuned to issues affecting Americans living abroad. Americans and military living overseas have only been able to vote in elections since 1986, so there are so many issues including taxes, banking, voting and citizenship that need to be studied!

    It is so important for your House representative to hear from you now, please take the time to send this quick email.
    And thank you to all who signed the petition for HR 6263 last December, this is the reincarnation of that House Bill. 

    Read more about:
    Bill HR 597
    FAWCO Article About the Introduction of Bill HR 597
    Overseas Americans Week 2013

    **Should you want to email your friends and family in the US (or overseas) asking for their support and to email their House reps, email us (Christine or Tricia) for an email similar to this one you're reading now; we can easily email that version to you.**

    THANK YOU!!!

    Sample Email to your House Representative

    Dear Representative [last name],

    I am a constituent in your district living overseas in [Cologne, Germany or your city, country] and am urging your support for Bill HR 597. I [grew up there/went to school there...my kids went to school at [school name]...I participated in these community activities...any other details about you and if you have contacted them in the past]. This bill would create a commission to look into how government policies affect my [and my children, my spouse, my friends, etc. life/lives] overseas.

    For the estimated 6 million Americans living overseas, policies created in Washington can have unintended consequences for us in areas of banking, taxes, voting, federal benefits and citizenship. Since it's Overseas Americans Week, I strongly encourage you to take a look at HR 597 and sign on as a co-sponsor, demonstrating your support for America's important global community.

    Thank you for your consideration!

    [your name]     






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