IMPORTANT: Retiree + Homeowner Visas

What is Happening with the Retiree Visa and Homeownership Visa Proposal (S. 1746 and H.R. 3341)?

With much fanfare on October 20, US Senators Schumer and Lee introduced the long awaited Canadian retiree visa proposal and a companion homeownership visa proposal.  Many of us have lobbied for years for the retiree legislation.  Now, with public endorsements from Washington-savvy organizations such as the US Chamber of Commerce, the US Travel Association, and the American Hotel & Lodging Association, this bill seems to have a lot going for it—but nothing is happening. 

As is customary, the bill was read twice in the Senate.  The bill was then, appropriately, sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee for further consideration.   To date, no Committee hearings have been scheduled.  Calls to Senator Schumer’s office have been met with “most bills introduced never make it out of committee…”  No organization has made any identifiable public effort to get the bill moving.  There is no movement of the House companion bill H.R. 3341 either.

The lack of movement is a good lesson in US politics.  From our perspective, four kinds of bills are introduced in Congress:

a)      A momentum bill.  A bill that has a natural momentum all its own.  It is pushed to approval by circumstance with no meaningful opposition.  These come in two flavors: the meaningful (the December 8, 1941 Declaration of War on Japan and Germany) and the meaningless (National Ice Cream Day on the third Sunday in July).

b)      A self-interest bill.  A bill that moves forward because it is in the self-interest of a member or members of Congress.  It makes a member look very good.  It saves a member’s political or financial bacon.   Or, refreshingly, a member decides that it is simply the right thing to do.

c)      An opportunity bill.  A bill that makes sense and has some public support, but no member of Congress is going to put limited time, money, and energy behind it unless there is a compelling reason to do so.  In other words, opportunity bills become self-interest bills and then become law through public support/pressure. 

d)     A dead-on-arrival bill.  A bill introduced at the request of and to please a constituent.  Though the bill does no political harm to the member introducing it, the bill has no chance of ever becoming law.  Members from conservative districts might propose sealing the borders, eliminating the Department of Education, or making English the only language used in government publications.  Members from liberal districts might propose free university education, a ban on hunting, or a cabinet level department of alternative energy.  Under current circumstances, none of these proposals will go anywhere, but in every congressional session you will see these bills or bills like them.

Though we thought S. 1746 (VISIT-USA) was a momentum bill, it is an opportunity bill.  It is, emphatically, not dead-on-arrival. 

Please seize the opportunity and voice your support for S. 1746 and H.R. 3341.  Urge members of Congress and supporting organizations to take action! 

Here’s how:

A.   Write and call the sponsor (Senator Schumer) and co-sponsors listed below. 

  • Keep it simple.  Reference the bill: S. 1746 (VISIT-USA) when contacting Senators and HR 3341 (VISIT-USA) when contacting Congressmen/women.  For letters and emails, one side of a page is about right.
  • Make it personal.  Share a little about yourself.  Connect yourself to the issue.
  • Make a point.  Why is the bill good for you, the district, and the country?

 

Mailing Address

The Honorable Charles E. Schumer (NY)
322 Hart Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Mike Lee (Utah)
316 Hart Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Salutation

Dear Senator:

Dear Senator:

Phone

202-224-6542

202-224-5444

Fax

202-228-3027

202-228-1168

Email

https://schumer.senate.gov/Contact/contact_chuck.cfm

http://lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact

Website

http://schumer.senate.gov/

http://lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/home

 

 

 

Mailing Address

The Honorable Daniel K. Akaka (Hawaii)
141 Hart Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Joe Manchin (W Virginia)
303 Hart Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Salutation

Dear Senator:

Dear Senator:

Phone

202-224-6361

202-224-3954

Fax

202-224-2126

202-228-0002

Email

http://akaka.senate.gov/email-senator-akaka.cfm

http://manchin.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact-form

Website

http://akaka.senate.gov/

http://manchin.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/home

 

 

 

Mailing Address

The Honorable Mary Landrieu (Louisiana)
431 Dirksen Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Richard Blumenthal (Connecticut)
702 Hart Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Salutation

Dear Senator:

Dear Senator:

Phone

202-224-5824

202-224-2823

Fax

202-224-9735

202-224-9673

Email

http://landrieu.senate.gov/about/contact.cfm

http://blumenthal.senate.gov/contact

Website

http://landrieu.senate.gov/

http://blumenthal.senate.gov/

 

 

 

 

B.   And, write to the Senator and Congressman for the district in which you live if you live part or full time in the United States.

  • To find your Congressman/woman: https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml.  You will need your full nine digit US zip code (5 digits + 4 digits)—a zip code lookup tool is available on the website.  The companion bill to S. 1746 in the House of Representatives is HR 3341.

 

C.   Write and call the Capital Hill organizations that endorsed the bill.

Mailing Address

US Chamber of Commerce
1615 H Street, NW
Washington, DC  20062

US Travel Association
1100 New York Avenue, NW  Suite 450
Washington, DC 20005

Phone

202-659-6000

202-408-8422

Fax

 

202-408-1255

Email

http://www.uschambersmallbusinessnation.com/about-us/contact-us

feedback@ustravel.org

Website

http://www.uschambersmallbusinessnation.com/

http://www.ustravel.org

Public Endorsement

http://www.uschamber.com/press/releases/2011/october/us-chamber-applauds-introduction-%E2%80%9Cvisit-usa-act%E2%80%9D

http://www.ustravel.org/news/press-releases/us-travel-association-commends-visit-usa-act

 

 

 

Mailing Address

American Hotel & Lodging Association
1201 New York Avenue, NW  Suite 600
Washington, DC  20005-3931

 

Phone

202-289-3100

 

Fax

202-289-3199

 

Email

 

 

Website

http://www.ahla.com/

 

Public Endorsement

http://www.ahla.com/content.aspx?id=33230

 

 

 

 

Please, DO IT TODAY!

Posted in In The News
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