A bill has been brought forward and approved unanimously, 420-0,by the US House of Representatives to stop US social security payments being made to suspected, former Nazi criminals. The Obama Administration is now under pressure to agree to stop the benefit payments.
Republican senators put forward the bill, demanding the Obama administration supply the benefit records that would explain the payments. A Senate bill vote is expected in the near future.
Media outlet, Associated Press, had conducted an investigation into the claims and found evidence that social security was being paid to former Nazis in exchange for voluntarily leaving the United States and renouncing their US citizenship. Meanwhile the Justice Department has denied the accusation, and access to details around who has received payments and how much has been paid has also been denied.
Those behind the bill include Leonard Lance, R-N.J and Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y. Meanwhile Senators Chuck Grassley, Iowa and Orrin Hatch, Utah have corresponded with the Social Security Administration, backing the bill and are seeking more details around the issue.
If the legislation is put in place, suspected Nazi criminals around the world would stop receiving the payments. The Republicans believe it is an injustice, a misuse of American tax-payers money, and out-of-date, 70 years after the end of World War Two.
According to Associated Press, it says it has found evidence that a Nazi officer who worked as a guard at the Auschwitz concentration camp lived in the US until the late 1980s, and still receives US benefit payments of around US$1500 every month. He is said to now reside in Croatia, the ABC News reports.
Initial indications show the White House and Justice Department support the bill and would be willing to look at ways in which the process and payments can be stopped for good.