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Introducing the Social Security for American Citizens Only Act

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


INTRODUCING THE SOCIAL SECURITY FOR AMERICAN CITIZENS ONLY ACT -- (House of Representatives - January 6, 2009)

Mr. PAUL. Madam Speaker, today I introduce the Social Security for American Citizens Only Act. This act forbids the federal government from providing Social Security benefits to noncitizens. It also ends the practice of totalization. Totalization is where the Social Security Administration takes into account the number of years an individual worked abroad, and thus was not paying payroll taxes, in determining that individual's eligibility for Social Security benefits!

Hard as it may be to believe, the United States Government already provides Social Security benefits to citizens of 17 other countries. Under current law, citizens of those countries covered by these agreements may have an easier time getting Social Security benefits than public school teachers or policemen!

Obviously, this program provides a threat to the already fragile Social Security system, and the threat is looming larger. The prior administration actually proposed a totalization agreement that would have allowed thousands of foreigners to qualify for U.S. Social Security benefits even thought they came to, and worked in, the United States illegally. Adding insult to injury, this proposal could have allowed the federal government to give Social Security benefits to non-citizens who worked here for as little as 18 months. Estimates of what this totalization proposal would cost top one billion dollars per year.

Despite a major public outcry against extending Social Security benefits to those who entered this country illegally, a version of this proposal actually passed the other body in the 109th Congress. That the executive branch would propose, and part of the legislative branch would endorse, using social security monies to reward to those who have willingly and knowingly violated our own immigration laws is an insult to the millions of Americans who pay their entire working lives into the system and now face the possibility that there may be nothing left when it is their turn to retire.

While the new administration has yet to take a public position on totalization, and hopefully will be more reasonable on this issue than its predecessor, it is still imperative that Congress act. Even if the new administration repudiates all proposals to allow those who entered the county illegally to receive social security benefits, the only way to guarantee a future administration will not revive this scheme is for Congress to put an end to totalization once and for all. I therefore call upon my colleagues to stop the use of the Social Security Trust Fund as yet another vehicle for foreign aid by cosponsoring the Social Security for American Citizens Only Act.


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