Social Security numbers would get an extra level of protection, under a bill by Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford, that’s set for House approval Monday.
The legislation introduced last October targets mail theft of the all-important numbers, by restricting their use in mailed government documents. It prohibits federal agencies from including the Social Security number on any mailed document unless the agency head determines that inclusion of that number is necessary.
“By reducing the number of mailed documents that contain full Social Security numbers, Congress can lessen the occurrence and mitigate the impacts of identity theft,” Valadao said when he introduced the bill.”
According to the Federal Trade Commission, as many as nine million U.S. residents have their identities stolen each year.
The bill doesn’t appear to be controversial, and it’s set for approval under a procedure that permits a voice vote. A number of the 63 House co-sponsors are Democrats, including lead co-sponsor, Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Pleasanton. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, where partisan tempers periodically flare, easily passed the legislation Sept. 15 by a unanimous vote.
“With identify theft growing in the U.S., we must take the crime seriously and take action to protect consumers,” Swalwell said on the bill’s introduction.
Valadao and Swalwell are members of the bipartisan United Solutions Caucus, founded by newly elected members of the House freshmen class in 2013.