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Johnson, Becerra Developing Legislation to Stop the Payment of Social Security Benefits to Nazi War Criminals

October 23, 2014

Washington, DC – Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security Chairman Sam Johnson (R-TX) and Ranking Member Xavier Becerra (D-CA) announced today that they are working together on legislation to stop all payment of Social Security benefits to Nazis and others who actively assisted in Nazi crimes.

“Like all Americans, I was stunned to learn that those responsible for the deaths of millions of innocents have received millions in Social Security benefits due to a loophole in the law.  By leaving the country voluntarily, instead of being deported, these murderers were able to keep their benefits.  Congress must stop these benefit payments now,” said Johnson.

“It’s unacceptable that some of the most heinous perpetrators of war crimes are receiving Social Security benefits on account of a loophole,” said Becerra.  “Social Security must be preserved for hard-working individuals who’ve earned it, not for participants in the atrocities of the Holocaust. The horrific crimes of the Holocaust must never be forgiven or forgotten.”

The legislation will:

  • Reaffirm the longstanding American view that Nazi perpetrators of the Holocaust engaged in a uniquely horrifying form of evil, and that the genocide they committed must be punished. 
  • Amend the law to stop benefit payments to those stripped of U.S. citizenship due to participation in Nazi activities or who voluntarily renounced their citizenship due to such participation. (Those who are judicially deported are already ineligible for Social Security under current law.)
  • Require a report to Congress on the number of Nazis whose benefits have been terminated by the Social Security Administration.