Overseas Americans

Millions of Americans, including military personnel and civilians, live and work across the world. Although they live overseas, many of these U.S. citizens continue to vote and pay taxes in the U.S. Whether or not they work for American businesses overseas, they help increase exports of American goods and services because they traditionally buy American goods, sell American goods, and create business opportunities for U.S. companies and workers. Their role in strengthening the U.S. economy, creating jobs in the United States, and extending American influence around the globe is vital to the well-being of our nation.

Select Highlights

  • Americans Abroad Caucus: In the 110th Congress Congresswoman Maloney cofounded the Americans Abroad Caucus. The purpose of this bi-partisan caucus is to provide a forum for discussion of the issues that are important to overseas Americans including citizenship, census, voting, banking access, and taxation.
  • Voting From Abroad: American citizens living abroad have the right to vote in local, state and national elections, but unfortunately they often experience difficulties doing so. Challenges range from learning and meeting the requirements imposed by fifty-five states and territories, to obtaining the mailing addresses and phone numbers to request a ballot, to receiving their ballot before the deadlines have passed. These overseas Americans also have the right to be counted in the decennial census. In her work with the Americans Abroad Caucus, Congresswoman Maloney has advocated on behalf of Americans living abroad to remove barriers that often prevent them from voting in U.S. elections.
  • Banking Services for Americans Abroad: Americans citizens living abroad are routinely denied foreign and domestic banking services. Congresswoman Maloney has urged the Treasury Department to address this issue.
  • The Commission on Americans Living Abroad Act: This bill, authored by Congresswoman Maloney, would create a bipartisan executive commission to study the full impact of federal policies and the actions of U.S. agencies on the American community abroad. The commission would study federal financial reporting requirements, the ability to vote in U.S. elections, and access to federal programs like Social Security and Medicare.

For other legislation and related documents click here.

More on Overseas Americans

Dec 3, 2008 Press Release
WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-NY, today announced they have sent a letter to Department of Defense Secretary Robert Gates urging him to conduct a fair and open hiring process for the next Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) Director.  This position is charged with administering the absentee voting system for all military and overseas voters. Citing serious concerns about the manner in which the selection process has been handled to date, Sen. Cornyn and Rep. Maloney, along with Sen. David Vitter, R-LA, and Congressman Mike Honda, D-CA, are seeking to ensure all candidates are fully considered. The incoming FVAP Director is an individual who can offer fresh approaches and solutions for improving the department, specifically the military voting system.
Oct 24, 2008 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Technical violations of election law such as those causing hundreds of military absentee ballots to be disqualified in Fairfax County, VA would not be grounds for rejection under a bill introduced by Rep. Carolyn Maloney last year.
Apr 14, 2008 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Co-Chair and Co-Founder of the Americans Abroad Caucus, delivered the following prepared remarks at a hearing of the Committee of House Administration on Military and Overseas Voting: Problems and Progress in Ensuring the Vote
Nov 16, 2007 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), co-chair of the Americans Abroad Caucus, has introduced legislation to protect the voting rights of the millions of American citizens currently living overseas.  According to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, about two-thirds of the absentee ballots requested for last year’s general election by overseas Americans were not counted.  Ballots either weren't received in time, were sent to an incorrect address, or filled out incorrectly.

Aug 31, 2006 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY-14) sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld expressing concerns about the Interim Voting Assistance System (IVAS), which has a stated purpose “to provide information on electronic voting options for service members and other U.S. citizens living overseas.” In her letter, Maloney asked a series of questions about the IVAS program (letter to Rumsfeld).
Jun 21, 2006 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – A vital resource to help Americans living overseas cut through the bureaucratic confusion of voter registration is getting a boost from Congress. The Defense Appropriations bill (H.R. 5631), which passed the House of Representatives last night, includes $600,000 to support the Overseas Vote Foundation’s new internet resource that simplifies the voter registration and absentee ballot processes (OVF website). Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY-14), who requested the money for the Foundation, today said that the federal assistance will help all Americans who want to vote cast a ballot.
Feb 3, 2006 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY-14), a leader in Congress for overseas Americans’ voting rights, is applauding new efforts to make voter registration easier for military and non-military Americans overseas. Today, the Overseas Vote Foundation unveiled a vital, brand-new internet resource, which simplifies the voter registration and absentee ballot process (link available at http://www.overseasvotefoundation.org). Potentially millions of American citizens living overseas are disenfranchised every election cycle because they have to wade through a tangled bureaucratic mess of local, state and federal forms and regulations to register to vote or apply for an absentee ballot.
Oct 19, 2004 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Rep. Henry A. Waxman and Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate whether the Department of Defense is fulfilling its obligation to help Americans living overseas cast absentee ballots in the upcoming election.
Sep 22, 2004 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC - Americans living overseas may be shut out of voting in the coming elections. The Pentagon is blocking access to the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) website for internet service providers in 25 countries, claiming that it needs to protect this website from hackers. Americans in countries including Great Britain, France, Spain, and Japan are unable to access this site, violating the program’s mission to help Americans overseas vote.
Apr 22, 2004 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC - Should a terrorist attacks kill more than 100 Members of the House of Representatives, overseas voters will have an opportunity to cast ballots in the special elections that follow, thanks to an amendment attached to the Continuity in Representation Act (HR 2844) today by House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Ike Skelton (MO-04) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY-14). (PDF of amendment) The amendment gives overseas voters – including men and women of the military – 45 days from the time ballots are mailed to them to return the completed ballots. The original version of the legislation did not address the issue of overseas voters. The Continuity Act passed the House 306-97.