Maloney, Chaffetz & Lance introduce bill to terminate Social Security benefits for Nazi persecutors

Nov 13, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), and Congressman Leonard Lance (R-NJ) today introduced the Nazi Social Security Benefits Termination Act. The bill affirmatively declares Nazi war criminals ineligible for federal benefits and instructs the Attorney General to inform the Social Security Administration when an individual has been denaturalized or has renounced his or her citizenship on the grounds of participation in Nazi persecution. Upon denaturalization or renunciation, these individuals will no longer be eligible for Social Security benefits. This legislation will enable the U.S. Government to stop payment of benefits by closing the loophole through which many former Nazis were able to leave the U.S. and retain eligibility for benefits. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Charles Schumer (D-NY) will introduce a companion bill in the Senate. 

“Our bill will eliminate the loophole that has allowed Nazi war criminals to collect Social Security benefits," said Maloney. "I am hopeful that the House will take this bill up in the lame duck session this November. We should work in a bipartisan and expeditious manner to terminate these benefits once and for all. The American taxpayer should not be subsidizing the retirements of those guilty of the worst atrocities in human history." 

“This is a matter of principle. Taxpayers should not be funding the retirement of war criminals. This bipartisan legislation expedites the process of stripping benefits from individuals guilty of such egregious acts," said Chaffetz.

“The world can never forget the hate and intolerance that claimed the lives of millions and forever scarred the face of mankind,” said Lance, the co-chair of the Republican Israel Caucus who continues the work of his predecessor, the late Congressman Bob Franks, who championed the effort in 1999.  “Congress must close this loophole and right this wrong in the name of the lives that were lost.  To think Nazis are living off the tax funds of the children of liberators is sickening and morally wrong.  Congress must put an end to it.” 

The Social Security Act presently disallows benefits to flow to those who participated in the Nazi persecutions or genocide but only if a final order of removal has been issued. However, as the Associated Press recently reported, many former Nazis have continued receiving benefits for decades because no such order was issued. The Nazi Social Security Benefits Termination Act would end benefits for Nazis who left the country and renounced their citizenship or were denaturalized but were never issued a final order of removal.

Original cosponsors included Reps. Steve Cohen, James McGovern, Kathy Castor, Peter King, Hank Johnson, David Cicilline, Keith Ellison, Patrick Murphy, Steve Israel, Derek Kilmer, and Jackie Speier.