Treasurer & General Counsel
|James Bopp, Jr.|
Republicans Overseas (RO) is a political organization for Americans who are living outside the United States and has 50 chapters worldwide. RO is influential with the Republican National Committee (RNC), in part, because many members within its Board of Governors are also prominent RNC members. However, it remains a separate, self-funded entity and is not considered a "state committee" by the RNC. Young Republicans is represented by Young Republicans Overseas, and Teenage Republicans is represented by Teenage Republican Ambassadors.
The primary mission of Republicans Overseas is "To inspire and facilitate the 8.7 million Americans living abroad to engage in the U.S. democratic political process through elections, briefings and policy advocacy." Additionally, they state "Republicans Overseas provides two-way infrastructure to keep Republicans abroad politically well-informed along with a mechanism to direct their policy concerns back to political leaders and Presidential candidates." As such, RO takes an active role in organizing voters overseas, promotes social media campaigns, advocates the Republican platform and principles, engages with the press, and hosts international events.
Until the passage of the Overseas Citizens Voting Rights Act of 1975, US citizens overseas could not vote in federal elections. After President Gerald Ford signed this legislation into law, citizens living abroad were permitted to cast an absentee ballot in their state of residence. Shortly after ratification, Republicans Abroad was established in 1978 to organize the estimated 3 million American overseas constituents, the majority of which were Republican.
Republicans Abroad hosted a weekly radio-show via wsRadio titled Republicans Abroad Radio. The show aired live weekly for several years. Guests to the show included President Ronald Reagan's Attorney General Edwin Meese III, Grover Norquist, and members of Congress.
Repealing the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) became a leading priority for Republicans Overseas. As a result, the RNC, during their January 2014 RNC Winter meeting, passed a resolution to repeal FATCA with overwhelming support. Additionally, in August 2014, the RNC unanimously passed a resolution supporting Residence Based Taxation, and another resolution Opposing OECD's Global FACTA Common Reporting Standards in January 2015.
RO views FATCA as violating fundamental constitutional rights of overseas U.S. citizens. The law was passed by a Democrat controlled Congress in 2010, lacking a single House Republican vote, and only 11 Senate Republican votes. The United States being the only First World nation that taxes its citizens living abroad, many Americans are now denied banking privileges throughout the world because foreign financial institutions cannot justify enduring increased compliance costs due to new regulations, and refuse to be proxy agents for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). FATCA has faced considerable criticism, including from Democrats Abroad, the official expatriate wing of the Democratic Party. A lawsuit fighting against FATCA, Crawford v. U.S. Department of Treasury, with eight counts of constitutional violations, was filed on July 14, 2015 by Republican Overseas Action (ROA), a 501(C)(4) organization of RO. The lawsuit currently has ten plaintiffs, including 2016 presidential candidate Senator Rand Paul. Democrats Abroad condemned ROA's FATCA lawsuit, specifically Senator Paul and James Bopp, Jr., the lawsuit's lead attorney. The RNC released a statement supporting RO and this legal undertaking.
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- "About Republicans Overseas". Republicans Overseas. Facebook.
- Coleman, Kevin (July 30, 2015). "The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act: Overview and Issues" (PDF). Congressional Research Service.
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- Austein, Michelle (January 25, 2008). "Americans Abroad Participate in Republican, Democratic Politics". United States of America, Embassy. U.S. Department of State.
- Dillon, Cynthia. "Republicans Abroad Radio". Republicans Abroad Radio. wsRadio.
- "Confidential FATCA Legal Action Fund Contribution Form". Republican Overseas. Abolish FATCA.
- "Resolution to Repeal the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)" (PDF). Republican National Committee. GOP. January 24, 2014.
- "Resolution Supporting "Residence Based Taxation"" (PDF). Republican National Committee. GOP. August 8, 2014.
- "Resolution Opposing OECD's Global FACTA Common Reporting Standards" (PDF). Republican National Committee. GOP. January 16, 2015.
- "Petition to Congress of the United States to Abolish the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)". Republicans Overseas. Abolish FATCA.
- "House Vote #991 in 2009". govtrack.us. December 16, 2009.
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- "Crawford et al v. United States Department of the Treasury et al". Justia Dockets & Filings. Justia. July 14, 2015.
- Goulder, Robert (September 16, 2015). "Litigating FATCA: Rand Paul And Financial Privacy". Forbes. Forbes.
- Montgomery, Alex (July 7, 2015). "Democrats Abroad Condemns Rand Paul's Legal Challenge to Law Targetting Tax Evaders". Democrats Abroad.
- Priebus, Reince (July 17, 2015). "RNC Statement on Republicans Overseas Action Lawsuit". RNC Press Releases. Republican National Committee.