Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed H. R. 624, the Social Security Fraud Prevention Act of 2017, which Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) cosponsored. Congressman Costa spoke on the House floor before members voted on the bill, urging his colleagues to support the legislation. Rep. Costa released the following statement after the bill passed by a voice vote:
"I am pleased the Social Security Fraud Prevention Act passed the House today. If it becomes law, this legislation will enact measures to help protect Americans -- especially children, veterans, and seniors -- from identity theft and fraud. Simply put, the bill requires the federal government be stricter with when and how it includes social security numbers on documents it mails to individuals. Although there is no silver bullet to stopping identity theft, this measure is a commonsense way to reduce identity theft and resulting fraud. And we must reduce it. An estimated 13 million Americans experienced financial identity theft in 2014, resulting in $16 billion lost to fraud.
"Also very important here is our need to protect Americans' Social Security. Social Security is a promise made to those who have worked to contribute to the system, and provides dignity and additional security for hardworking Americans during their golden years. As a result, Congress must do what it can to reduce strains on the program, particularly from fraud and theft.
"This legislation is a bipartisan effort to help protect Americans and our Social Security program from fraud and theft. I hope to see the Senate take up the bill on a bipartisan basis, and then see it signed into law."
Now that the Social Security Fraud Prevention Act of 2017 has passed in the House of Representatives, it will be sent to the Senate where Senators can debate, amend, and ultimately vote on the bill. If the legislation passes in both chambers of Congress, it will be sent to the President for him to sign into law.