1504 Repeal Statement

Anti-Poverty and Transparency Law Repealed by House Committee
Washington DC - On Wednesday the US House of Representatives Financial Services Committee voted 33-27 to repeal section 1504 of the "Dodd-Frank" Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. Section 1504 requires oil and mining companies to disclose what payments companies make to governments where they operate to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development organization, Jubilee USA, releases the following statement:

"I supported Section 1504 because it was a common sense, bipartisan model to combat revenue thefts from the poor and a new beginning to address tax evasion and corruption.

"Section 1504 requires annual reporting by oil, gas and mining companies of financial activity and payments to governments where these companies operate. Requiring disclosure of these payments helps fight corruption by extending the transparency we have in our own federal budget to other countries that need to be more forthcoming about public finances.

"Because Congress acted on this transparency initiative, the world followed. Europe and Canada passed and expanded Congress’ action and the idea of increasing this type of financial reporting has now become a critical part of global development agreements. ‎

"It's a sad day when basic anti-poverty and transparency initiatives are ‎repealed."

Read Eric LeCompte's February oped in the Hill opposing the repeal of Section 1504. 

 

Available for interview: Eric LeCompte, Executive Director
Contact: Lydia C. Andrews, Deputy Director
(o) 202-783-3566 x109 (m) 847-772-2305 / lydia@jubileeusa.org

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Archbishop and Evangelical Leader Tell Congress to Protect Puerto Rico in Tax Plans

As the Senate and House tax plans head to conference committee to reconcile tax plan differences, major religious leaders from Puerto Rico are asking Congress to protect the island from new proposed ‎taxes. Metropolitan Archbishop Roberto O. González Nieves, OFM of the Catholic Archdiocese San Juan de Puerto Rico and Puerto Rico Bible Society Secretary, Reverend Heriberto Martínez-Rivera wrote to Congress with their concerns.

"If Congress treats American citizens living in Puerto Rico differently than American citizens living in the 50 States by treating our island as a foreign jurisdiction, we believe recovery for our island home will be nearly impossible," wrote González and Martínez-Rivera in their letter to Congress.  "We respectfully request that all Members of Congress ensure that a final tax reform plan does not impose new excise taxes on Puerto Rico."

Working with Jubilee USA and US religious groups, the Archbishop and Evangelical leader have engaged Congress for nearly two years to move policies that promote economic growth and reduce the island's crippling debt load and high child poverty rate. In the recent letter they wrote to Congress, they ‎noted that tens of thousands of American jobs could be lost in Puerto Rico if the Senate and House conference committee did not strip the excise tax from final legislation.

"If Congress fails to remove this excise tax in their final tax package, it is just like hitting Puerto Rico with another hurricane," said Jubilee USA Director Eric LeCompte who advises Puerto Rico's religious leaders and serves on United Nation expert groups. "Before the hurricanes, we were dealing with a severe financial crisis and almost half of all Puerto Rican kids were living in poverty. We are now dealing with a full blown humanitarian crisis that Congress can make better or even worse."‎

Read Archbishop González and Reverend Martínez-Rivera's letter to Congress. 

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Jubilee USA Releases Tax Reform Statement

The Senate could vote later on Friday on a tax reform package. If a package passes the Senate, the House and Senate will likely use the conference committee process to reconcile differences between the final House and Senate tax packages.

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development organization, Jubilee USA, releases the following statement:

“Any final tax reform package should support and protect vulnerable communities. I’m concerned that portions of the current tax plans will harm poor populations.

"A final tax package should not shifts greater tax burdens to the poor or constrict our budget from providing adequate foreign development assistance or disaster relief.

"We could see more developing countries borrowing more money and becoming more indebted as a result of less foreign assistance because of current tax plans.

“Current tax reform legislation moves the US to a so-called territorial tax system that encourages the use of tax havens and permits corporations to avoid paying US taxes and taxes in developing countries. Such a plan has a human cost and negatively impacts poor people at home and abroad.‎

“Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands are still struggling to recover from the aftermath of this hurricane season and they should not be subject to additional excise taxes that US states are not subject to. While Congress considers tax policies to promote jobs for Americans in the 50 States, those policies must also ensure that US citizens living in Puerto Rico and the Territories are treated the same. Puerto Rico and the US Territories will lose tens of thousands of jobs if Congress passes a final tax package with new excise taxes for the Territories.”

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Congress Tax Reform Package Could Harm Poor, Warns Religious Development Group

 As the Senate pushes tax reform, the head of a religious development group expressed concern over parts of the House and Senate proposals that could harm low income people in the United States and people in the developing world.

“Any final tax reform package should support and protect vulnerable communities. I’m concerned that portions of the current tax plans will harm poor populations,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA. “A final tax package should not shift greater tax burdens to the poor or constrict our budget from providing adequate foreign development assistance or disaster relief.”

The House and Senate will likely use the conference committee process to reconcile differences between the final House and Senate tax reform packages.

“Current tax reform legislation moves the US to a so-called territorial tax system that encourages the use of tax havens and permits corporations to avoid US taxes and taxes in developing countries,” noted LeCompte. “Such a plan has a human cost and negatively impacts poor people at home and abroad.”

Jubilee USA has worked with Congress for nearly two years on US financial policies regarding Puerto Rico. Portions of a final tax package could impact Puerto Rico and other US Territories according to LeCompte.

“As Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands are still struggling to recover from the aftermath of this hurricane season, they should not be subject to additional excise taxes that US states are not subject to,” stated LeCompte. “While Congress considers tax policies to promote jobs for Americans in the 50 States, those policies must also ensure that US citizens living in Puerto Rico and the Territories are treated the same. Puerto Rico and the US Territories will lose tens of thousands of jobs if Congress passes a final tax package with new excise taxes for the Territories.”

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Bond Buyer Interviews Eric LeCompte on Humanitarian Efforts in Puerto Rico

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA was recently interviewed by Bond Buyer to discuss relief efforts in Puerto Rico. Read excerpt below and follow link to full article.

Humanitarian Advocates Optimistic on Aid to Puerto Rico

By: Brian Tumulty

Laura Esquivel, director of national Advocacy for the Hispanic Federation, and Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network, told The Bond Buyer they are hopeful Congress will rework the administration’s request and provide more funding[...]

LeCompte stressed the urgency of stepping up the recovery effort.

“I think Congress will step up and we will see in the coming weeks and months more packages around both relief and recovery and rebuilding aid as well as some financing issues addressed,” LeCompte said.

LeCompte said his organization supports having the oversight board established under PROMESA review contracts that are signed for spending federal funds in the recovery effort.

“There appears to be a need for some transparent and accountable way that contracts are reviewed," he said. “We just want it to be expedient and fast.” 

Read more here.

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Eric LeCompte Quoted by IRIN News on Debt Relief in the Caribbean

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network, was recently cited in IRIN News on debt relief in the Caribbean. Read excerpt below and follow link to full article. 

Recovery pledges for hurricane-ravaged Caribbean are a drop in the ocean

By: Samuel Oakford

Eric LeCompte, director of Jubilee USA, said his umbrella group of religious organisations was exploring ways of delaying payments and obligations over the coming months.

“That’s an issue where we’ve seen some progress, but we don’t have firm commitments from the IMF or Paris club over any kind of debt moratorium.”

Read more here

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Gifts are Doubled to Jubilee USA

Friends,

Thanks to your support, Jubilee USA is winning and growing.

Please join me and make a tax-deductible donation to Jubilee USA that will be matched up to $20,000 right now. Whether your gift is $5, $10, $25, $250 or $500 - it is so needed and so appreciated so we can continue to raise a budget to support our vital mission.

Already in 2017, we stopped "vulture funds," won a super bankruptcy process for Puerto Rico and moved Republican and Democratic corporate transparency legislation to protect vulnerable communities. With your support we moved the Trump White House to help stop global financial crisis. We pushed Congress and successfully defended protections for consumers and the poor.

We urgently need your financial support now as we move the IMF, Congress and the White House to support hurricane victims in Puerto Rico, Dominica, the US Virgin Islands and Barbuda. You're contributions are needed now to continue our emergency policy efforts to win recovery and relief aid for the millions affected by this hurricane season. And when you make a gift now to Jubilee USA, your gift will be DOUBLED.

New protections we win for Dominica, the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico will help protect vulnerable communities in every corner of the world. New policies we win for public budget transparency, debt relief and austerity prevention can be replicated in other parts of the world to alleviate suffering and lift millions out of poverty.

While we are grateful to work with many incredible groups on our efforts, many of the issues we work on are only worked on by Jubilee USA, our founding groups and member organizations. It is why we so depend on your gift. While our global impact is in the billions, many people think our annual budget is in the millions. However, while our annual budget is growing, its only about $600,000. Its why any size gift is so important, why its needed and why it goes such a long way.

Jubilee USA is a small organization with a big "David versus Goliath" impact and when you give a tax-deductible gift today it will be matched up to $20,000.

I'm so grateful for your partnership and to be able to do this work with you. Thanks in advance for supporting our Jubilee USA efforts.

Gratefully,

Eric_Signature.transparent.jpg

Eric LeCompte
Executive Director
Twitter: @Eric_LeCompte
www.jubileeusa.org/support-us

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Jubilee USA End of Year Report

At Jubilee USA we have a lot to be grateful for this year. Because of our partnership our efforts increased transparency, stopped corruption, prevented financial crisis and protected vulnerable communities around the world.

Our "2017 Year End Report" highlights the reasons why we are so grateful this year. You can read how we stopped 'vulture funds,' won a super bankruptcy process for Puerto Rico and also introduced Republican and Democratic corporate transparency legislation to protect vulnerable communities. You will also learn how we moved the Trump White House and Congress.

In the report you will be able to read a month-by-month review of what we achieved together this year. In January we pushed Congress to protect corporate transparency requirements, in April we successfully defended consumer and anti-poverty protections, in May we won bankruptcy for Puerto Rico, in June we moved the White House to help stop global financial crisis and in September our team leaped into action to protect hurricane victims.

When you read our "2017 Year End Report," you will see images that define our year with Puerto Rico meetings and Congressional Briefings. You will also learn about how Jubilee congregations collected thousands of hurricane relief petitions and read about the thousands of media mentions, including our director Eric LeCompte's appearance on CNBC and his address to the United Nations.

Thanks again for making our work possible.

 

Jubilee USA End of Year Report 2017






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FASB: Corporate Transparency Curbs Corruption, Poverty

Washington DC - Jubilee USA, a religious development group, asked the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) to require greater disclosure of what payments corporations make to governments where they operate. The Securities‎ and Exchange Commission designates the FASB as the body that sets accounting standards for public corporations in the United States.

In a letter to the FASB, Jubilee USA's Executive Director Eric LeCompte wrote, "The developing world loses more than a trillion dollars a year because of tax evasion, tax avoidance and corruption. The problem is difficult to address because of a lack of public data.‎"

Development groups like Jubilee USA view stronger reporting standards as a vehicle to raise revenue for human needs in the United States and around the world.

"It's critical that large companies report their income, assets and numbers of employees for every country where they do business," said LeCompte regarding the letter. "This basic reporting can stop corruption and raise money to address poverty."

Read Jubilee USA's full letter to FASB click here.

Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 75 US organizations and 650 faith communities working with 50 Jubilee global partners. Jubilee USA builds an economy that serves, protects and promotes the participation of the most vulnerable. Jubilee USA wins critical global financial reforms and won more than $130 billion in debt relief to benefit the world's poorest people.
www.jubileeusa.org

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Available for interview: Eric LeCompte, Executive Director
Contact: Lydia C. Andrews, Deputy Director
lydia@jubileeusa.org | office:(202)783-3566 x109 | mobile:(847) 72-2305

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Have a Blessed Thanksgiving from Jubilee USA!

Friends,

I want to wish you and your loved ones a Blessed Thanksgiving.

We give thanks for the abundance that God gives us. In community we work so that abundance is shared among all people. We remember so many in our global community struggling this Thanksgiving in Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, California, Texas, Barbuda, Dominica, Florida and famine-hit Africa. We remember and we continue our work so that all have enough in the face of crisis.

We also give thanks as our partners celebrate new possibilities in Zimbabwe.

In this time of challenge and hope, I'm most grateful that we continue this journey together.

So very grateful for you,

Eric_Signature.transparent.jpg


Eric LeCompte
Executive Director
Jubilee USA Network
(202)783-3566
Twitter: @Eric_LeCompte
www.jubileeusa.org/support-us

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