Congress Rolls Back Stringent Background Checks for Citizens on Social Security Disability

In a 235 to 180 vote, the House of Representatives voted to scrap a regulation requiring a background check for disabled Social Security recipients mentally incapable of managing their own affairs. The requirement was put in place by the Obama Administration.

The background checks rule established the criteria the Social Security Administration will follow when forwarding names for the criminal background check system.

Those fitting the criteria have a mental disorder so severe that they cannot work and need a representative to manage their benefits. The administration projected that the regulation would affect about 75,000 beneficiaries.

Under the current law, the Social Security Administration utilizes the National Instant Background Check System (NICS) to determine if someone is mentally ill.

Under the law, the SSA has to provide the National Instant Criminal Background Check System database a list of recipients eligible and receiving SSI insurance based upon criteria they have determined makes a person mentally ill; thereby creating an unsubstantiated association of mental illness and a propensity to violence. This blanket decision – without any history, medical, or psychological determination on a per-person/case-by-case basis – is a generalization, based upon the type of disability a recipient receives. These categorizations determine a person’s eligibility to exercise their constitutional right to bear arms.

The Congressional Review Act gives Congress the ability to nix any executive actions that occurred in the last six months by an outgoing administration. The move by the Republican-controlled House was anticipated. It is considered the first in a string of pro-gun moves that will take place during the Trump Administration.