Washington (CNN) - Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-California, joined a growing crowd of Republican lawmakers calling for a review of the 14th Amendment Tuesday.
Bilbray stopped short of calling for a constitutional amendment that would change the provision, which grants 'birthright' citizenship to anyone born in the Unites States, but told CNN National Political Correspondent Jessica Yellin that the law should be clarified.
"We should clarify the fact that those who are tourists do not fall under the category because they cannot be tried for treason," Bilbray said on CNN's John King USA during a panel discussion. "Rich tourists shouldn't be able to come in and buy citizenship. That's what it's really about."
But Rep. James Moran, D-Virginia, argued that the Republican lawmaker's motives are purely political.
"I have to speak up for Brian [Bilbray]. He's normally not this disingenuous when he's among us and he's back in Washington. It's only when he's on the campaign trail," Moran said. "This is not about rich diplomats and everyone knows that, including Brian."
Bilbray's comments come after several top Republican lawmakers, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, expressed interest in holding hearings to examine the amendment more closely.
"I'm sure they want to hold hearings, and they want to make sure they're televised, because this is about getting votes. This is about the upcoming election. It's not about changing the law," Moran said.
The 14th Amendment states in part that "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."
Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-South Carolina, told Fox News last week that he is considering introducing a constitutional amendment that would change the birthright provision of the 14th Amendment. Such an amendment would require two-thirds of both houses of Congress, and three-fourths of state legislatures to pass.
"We can't get two-thirds of Congress to agree on what day it is," Moran said. "This is purely about getting votes in the next election … It is about appealing to the bias against immigrants."
But Bilbray insisted that his experiences from living and working in a border state have convinced him that the law needs to be looked at.
"In San Diego…You had individuals with border crossing cards that would come over from Tijuana, and they do it today. They deliver at the hospitals as an emergency delivery. They qualify as an automatic citizenship, even though they even live out of the country, but because they're there temporarily, they claim to get the citizenship, and they qualify for the benefits," he said.
"Those of us on the border, we see this everyday. It's not just about illegal immigrants. It's about people gaming the system."