What: All Issues : Aid to Less Advantaged People, at Home & Abroad : Immigrants : HR 627. (Credit card regulations) Vitter of Louisiana amendment that would require credit card issuers to verify individuals’ identities before issuing a card/On agreeing to the amendment (2009 senate Roll Call 190)
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HR 627. (Credit card regulations) Vitter of Louisiana amendment that would require credit card issuers to verify individuals’ identities before issuing a card/On agreeing to the amendment
senate Roll Call 190     May 13, 2009
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote was on an amendment by David Vitter, R-La., that would have required credit card issuers to verify the identity of people who are applying for a credit card.  The amendment would specify acceptable identification as:  a Social Security card, driver’s license, passport or photo ID card issued by the Department of Homeland Security.  The amendment was offered to a bill that would impose new restrictions on credit card companies’ lending practices.

Vitter said his amendment is intended to ensure that credit cards are only issued to people who are in the country legally, “to ensure that we don’t empower and facilitate illegal aliens and terrorists and keep them from getting credit cards, which can then be used improperly.”

“The 9/11 terrorists all did this successfully and all used credit cards in planning and plotting and hatching their scheme. It is also a boon to business for many banks that go after the illegal alien market with credit cards. That is unacceptable, and my amendment would stop that,” Vitter said.

Chris Dodd, D-Conn., said Vitter’s amendment is redundant because there is a basic identity verification requirement included in the PATRIOT Act.

“This bill is designed specifically to deal with credit card reform. A matter such as this obviously belongs in a more appropriate place,” Dodd said.  “This would force all applicants to physically go to the bank and present the required documents, which would cause a huge inconvenience to customers. I don’t think that is in our best interest at this time. We are not trying to make it more difficult for people to have access to credit cards,” Dodd said.

By a vote of 28-65, the amendment was rejected.  Of Republicans present, 28 voted for the amendment and 11 voted against it.  Every Democrat present voted against the amendment.  The end result is that the measure went forward without language that would have required credit card issuers to verify applicants’ identity before issuing a credit card.

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