REPORT: 130 Republicans In Congress Want To Consider Ending Birthright Citizenship

This is the first installment in a three-part series on legislation that may emerge from a GOP-controlled Congress.

In late July, Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) call to end the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of citizenship for everyone born in the United States set off a firestorm in the press. Last week, a coalition of Republican state lawmakers announced a nationwide effort to “develop model state legislation” that will eliminate what they see as a “misapplication” of the 14th Amendment in granting birth citizenship to children of undocumented immigrants. More and more right-wing conservatives have taken this radical position, despite the fact birthright citizenship has long been settled law.

After conducting a thorough review of the voting records of Republicans in Congress over the past 15 years, ThinkProgress has identified a large majority of them have at one point called for hearings and legislation to alter the constitutional guarantee of citizenship for everyone born in the United States. An analysis of past records found that 63 percent of House Republicans, 44 percent of Senate Republicans, and 59 percent of all GOPers in Congress support reconsidering birthright citizenship.

Republicans in Congress have long operated by the “majority of the majority” principle, whereby the GOP Speaker of the House advances legislation only if it is supported by a majority of Republicans. With many prominent GOP Senate candidates favoring an end to birthright citizenship, including Rand Paul, Ken Buck, Mike Lee, Kelly Ayotte, Joe Miller, and Sharron Angle, it’s likely that a GOP-controlled Senate would indeed have a majority who support revisiting the issue.

Ending birthright citizenship is no idle belief in the GOP caucus. Rather, Republicans have been pushing this idea for nearly two decades, introducing 28 separate bills to eliminate birthright citizenship since 1995. Here are the 130 incumbent GOPers who favor reexamining the 14th Amendment (leadership in bold):


Jeff Sessions (AL) Richard Shelby (AL) Jon Kyl (AZ)
Johnny Isakson (GA) Saxby Chambliss (GA) Chuck Grassley (IA)
Jim Risch (ID) Mitch McConnell (KY) David Vitter (LA)
Roger Wicker (MS) Richard Burr (NC) James Inhofe (OK)
Tom Coburn (OK) Jim DeMint (SC) Lindsey Graham (SC)
John Cornyn (TX) Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX) Orrin Hatch (UT)

House of Representatives

Don Young (AK-AL) Jo Bonner (AL-01) Mike Rogers (AL-03)
Robert Aderholt (AL-04) Parker Griffith (AL-05) Spencer Bachus (AL-06)
John Boozman (AR-03) Trent Franks (AZ-02) John Shadegg (AZ-03)
Jeff Flake (AZ-06) Wally Herger (CA-02) Dan Lungren (CA-03)
Tom McClintock (CA-04) Elton Gallegly (CA-24) Howard McKeon (CA-25)
David Dreier (CA-26) Ed Royce (CA-40) Gary Miller (CA-42)
Ken Calvert (CA-44) Dana Rohrabacher (CA-46) John Campbell (CA-48)
Darrell Issa (CA-49) Brian Bilbray (CA-50) Duncan Hunter (CA-52)
Doug Lamborn (CO-05) Mike Coffman (CO-06) Jeff Miller (FL-01)
Ginny Brown-Waite (FL-05) Cliff Stearns (FL-06) John Mica (FL-07)
Gus Bilirakis (FL-09) Bill Young (FL-10) Bill Posey (FL-15)
Jack Kingston (GA-01) Lynn Westmoreland (GA-03) Tom Price (GA-06)
John Linder (GA-07) Tom Graves (GA-09) Paul Broun (GA-10)
Phil Gingrey (GA-07) Tom Latham (IA-04) Steve King (IA-05)
Peter Roskam (IL-06) Donald Manzullo (IL-16) Dan Burton (IN-05)
Mike Pence (IN-06) Jerry Moran (KS-01) Lynn Jenkins (KS-02)
Todd Tiahrt (KS-04) Ed Whitfield (KY-01) Geoff Davis (KY-04)
Harold Rogers (KY-05) Steve Scalise (LA-01) John Fleming (LA-04)
Rodney Alexander (LA-05) Roscoe Bartlett (MD-06) Peter Hoekstra (MI-02)
Fred Upton (MI-06) Candice Miller (MI-10) Thaddeus McCotter (MI-11)
John Kline (MN-02) Todd Akin (MO-02) Sam Graves (MO-06)
Roy Blunt (MO-07) Jo Ann Emerson (MO-08) Walter Jones (NC-03)
Virginia Foxx (NC-05) Howard Coble (NC-06) Sue Myrick (NC-09)
Patrick McHenry (NC-10) Jeff Fortenberry (NE-01) Adrian Smith (NE-03)
Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02) Scott Garrett (NJ-05) Dean Heller (NV-02)
Peter King (NY-03) Jean Schmidt (OH-02) Jim Jordan (OH-04)
John Boehner (OH-08) John Sullivan (OK-01) Greg Walden (OR-02)
Bill Shuster (PA-09) Joseph Pitts (PA-16) Tim Murphy (PA-18)
Todd Platts (PA-19) Henry Brown, Jr. (SC-01) Joe Wilson (SC-02)
Gresham Barrett (SC-03) John Duncan (TN-02) Zach Wamp (TN-03)
Louie Gohmert (TX-01) Ted Poe (TX-02) Sam Johnson (TX-03)
Ralph Hall (TX-04) Jeb Hensarling (TX-05) Joe Barton (TX-06)
John Culberson (TX-07) Kevin Brady (TX-08) Mike Conaway (TX-11)
Ron Paul (TX-14) Randy Neugebauer (TX-19) Lamar Smith (TX-21)
Pete Olson (TX-22) Kenny Marchant (TX-24) Michael Burgess (TX-26)
John Carter (TX-31) Pete Sessions (TX-32) Jason Chaffetz (UT-03)
Rob Wittman (VA-01) Randy Forbes (VA-04) Bob Goodlatte (VA-06)
Doc Hastings (WA-04)

One point to note is that none of the GOP’s minority congressmen – Reps. Djou, Cao, Ros-Lehtinen, and the Diaz-Balart brothers – support ending birthright citizenship. Still, though a few have criticized Graham, including his mentor Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), this report from ThinkProgress makes clear that the GOP congressional caucus has the South Carolina senator’s back. For 130 Republicans in Congress, “Born in the U.S.A.” apparently no longer applies.