Harry Reid Plays Politics with Taxpayer Dollars, Hides from His Record

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Washington, January 10, 2014 | Ruth Guerra (202-225-4201) | comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Sam Johnson (R-TX) released the following statement to remind Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) along with other Democrats on their previous support to prevent illegal immigrants and their children from getting checks from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

“I can’t seem to understand why Harry Reid and other Senate Democrats now oppose the same common-sense policy they once supported.  Why does Reid now support allowing illegal immigrants to receive billions in taxpayer dollars?  That’s just wrong!  Instead of protecting hardworking taxpayer dollars, Reid has decided to play politics and allow illegal immigrants to get the $1,000 refundable child tax credit.  Reid can try to play politics, but he can’t hide from his record,” said Johnson.

In 2008, Reid and other Democrats such as Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) supported H.R. 5140, the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, which provided IRS stimulus checks to taxpayers and their children.  However, taxpayers and children were required to provide their Social Security number in order to receive the check.   

According to an IRS Economic Stimulus Payment Q&A document, “A taxpayer generally needs a valid Social Security number to qualify for the stimulus payment…the only exception is a joint return on which either spouse is a member of the armed forces.  Children must have valid Social Security numbers to be eligible as qualifying children.”

Requiring Social Security numbers is a long-standing, common-sense idea. 

Back in 1996, Reid supported requiring Social Security numbers for the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit, which is based on family size and income, by voting for the 1996 Welfare Reform law.  Reid was joined by Democrats such as then-Senator Joe Biden and Representative Steny Hoyer.

Since 2010, Johnson has spearheaded the effort to stop illegal immigrants from receiving the $1,000 refundable child tax credit.  Johnson re-introduced his bill in February 2013 (H.R. 556).  The non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation crunched the numbers and estimated Johnson’s bill would save approximately $24.4 billion.  Last Congress, the House passed a version of Johnson’s refundable child tax credit bill three times as part of larger bills.  However, Reid refused to take them up even though one of his colleagues, Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO), expressed “alarm” about the IRS’ improper payment of the refundable child tax credit and vowed to take action to end it.

Note: An investigative report by NBC’s Indianapolis WTHR uncovered a slew of illegal immigrants who claimed the tax credit for children living outside the U.S.  To watch the report, click here.

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