GOP Lawmakers Press for Citizenship Verification in House Health Bill

Posted September 16, 2009 at 1:26pm

More than 50 House Republicans on Wednesday stepped up the pressure on party leaders to ensure that health care reform legislation does not give any benefits to illegal immigrants.Reps. Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.), in a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), said it was “meaningless— to argue that the House plan would bar illegal immigrants from getting care. The letter has 54 co-signers, including Judiciary ranking member Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Financial Services ranking member Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.).“The bill contains no verification mechanism to ensure that illegal immigrants will not receive benefits,— states the Republicans’ letter, which cites a Congressional Research Service report as its source. The bill also allows for instances where some family members would be eligible for credits when others would not, the letter says.“Our constituents find these provisions unacceptable,— the lawmakers stated. “If H.R. 3200 becomes law in its current form, billions in taxpayer funds could go to those who are in our country illegally.—The Republicans say their concerns could be “easily addressed— if the House bill were to require people to undergo citizenship verification in order to access affordability benefits.