The Portuguese Caucus, a group of Congressmen who advocate Portugal’s and it’s Portuguese-American citizens’ interests in the USA, was reinstated for the present 114th
US Congress, NOPA (National Organization of Portuguese-Americans) stated.
Currently, the group is headed by Congressmen Jim Costa and David Valadão, from California, David N. Cicilline, from Rhode Island, and Lee Zeldin, from New York.
The caucus is a non-partisan organization comprised of Republican, Democrat and Independent members.
NOPA urges all individuals and organizations in the Portuguese American community to reach out to your Members and ask them to join the Caucus.
In addition, NOPA appeals to the Portuguese American community “to call and/or email the caucus co-chairs, Congressmen Jim Costa (D-CA), David G. Valadao (R-CA), David N. Cicilline (D-RI), and Lee Zeldin (R-NY) especially if you are one of their constituents, to thank them for co-chairing the caucus and for their commitment to the Portuguese-American community.”
The Caucus was established in 1995 by Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy (RI-D) and is co-chaired with Congressman Richard Pombo (CA-R)
The first group, comprised of 38 members, was instrumental in several initiatives, namely in 1996 when it headed a discussion leading to the Tax Agreement between the USA and Portugal. The agreement prevents double taxation and tax evasion.
Three years later it fought for the inclusion of Portugal in the Visa Waiver program, which allows Portuguese citizens to enter the USA without a visa. It also fought for the approval of sanctions against Indonesia due to violence in East Timor.
After some inactivity, by NOPA’s initiative the group was reactivated in 2011, and in the latter years the Portuguese Caucus has been very active on the Lajes Air Base (Azores) issue.