Archive for the ‘Extenstion deadline’ Category

BTC – It’s either kick the can or repeal it the correct way.

Congress appears increasingly unlikely to repeal a sweeping driver’s license law by the end of the year, which may force the Homeland Security Department to grant blanket waivers to states unable or unwilling to issue licenses that meet federal security standards.

Without the waivers or a congressional repeal, the Real ID law goes into effect Jan. 1. Officials across the country fear that would set off a situation that could include a requirement that tens of thousands of airline passengers go through secondary screening at airports every day.

Senate Democrats have been unable to get an agreement from Republicans to bring legislation to the floor that would repeal Real ID, which many federal and state officials say is unworkable and some consider an unfunded mandate from Washington.

National ID bashing with Cato’s, Jim Harper

by Jim Harper

I’ve written here before about how the National Governors Association is seeking to peddle state power over driver licensing and identification to the federal government in order to cement its role as a supplicant for states in Washington, D.C.

NGA is currently seeking to drum up a false, end-of-year driver license crisis to convince Congress to pass a new version of REAL ID called PASS ID, moving the national ID project forward.

The letter says that states must be “materially compliant” with the REAL ID Act by the end of the year or their citizens will not be able to use their driver’s licenses as identification to board commercial aircraft. This is technically true, in one sense, but it omits some important information.

The statutory deadline for REAL ID compliance was actually a year and a half ago, May of 2008. No state was in compliance then, and the Department of Homeland Security gave out deadline extensions wholesale—even to states that didn’t ask for them.

If Congress takes no action by the end of the year, the DHS will simply do this again. There is no end-of-year driver license crisis.

And it’s no harm, no foul—nobody who has studied identity-based security believes that the national ID law would cost-effectively protect the country. Ignoring or repealing REAL ID are the best paths forward.

The NGA, of course, believes that states will be better off with its preferred version of REAL ID. Some of the sharpest corners are taken off REAL ID in the new ”PASS ID“ version, but states are kidding themselves if they think PASS ID is good for their bottom lines.

As I wrote beforetwice!—PASS ID is likely to cost states as much or more than REAL ID. Its requirements are essentially the same, and its implementation deadline—one of the biggest cost drivers—is tighter in some respects than REAL ID.

Will Congress slip PASS ID into law by the end of the year the way REAL ID was slipped into law four-plus years ago? It’ll be interesting to see…

In a letter to congressional leadership on Wednesday, the National Governors Association disclosed that as many as 36 states won’t meet the end-of-year deadline. Another 13 states have thumbed their noses at the federal government by passing laws that prohibit participation in Real ID, which states have long viewed as an unfunded federal mandate that could violate their residents’ privacy. The recession, meanwhile, has ravaged state budgets and is likely to further erode states’ willingness, or their ability, to comply with Real ID.

BTC – Why comply with a federal program which is fit for repeal? It’s a waste of paper. Governors and state leaders have more important stuff to do. While many NGA governor’s seem to be “okay” with PASS ID; their state constituents need to recognize that the new legislation still relies on the majority of Real ID to stay in place and to eventually procure state funding for centralizing identity databases. One of the original critics of Real ID, Governor Sanford of South Carolina, openly opposed the build of centralized databases as a continued risk to privacy in the PASS ID Act.

We urge you to ask your State for a comprehensive repeal

of the Real ID Act and the PASS ID Act.


WASHINGTON — While Congress debates national health care legislation that could put new fiscal burdens on the states, the nation’s governors are pushing Capitol Hill for a reprieve from another costly federal program that states have long criticized: Real ID.

The program, created in the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attacks, requires all states to start issuing more secure driver’s licenses by the end of this year. Residents of states that do not comply with the deadline will not be able to board commercial aircraft or enter federal buildings using their driver’s licenses beginning in January.

In a letter to congressional leadership on Wednesday, the National Governors Association disclosed that as many as 36 states won’t meet the end-of-year deadline. Another 13 states have thumbed their noses at the federal government by passing laws that prohibit participation in Real ID, which states have long viewed as an unfunded federal mandate that could violate their residents’ privacy. The recession, meanwhile, has ravaged state budgets and is likely to further erode states’ willingness, or their ability, to comply with Real ID.

In their letter, the governors urged Congress to approve a replacement version of Real ID -known as Pass ID – that would give states more time and flexibility to upgrade their driver’s licenses, including the processes used to check applicants’ identities.

National ID bashing with Cato’s,

Jim Harper

Returning to the CBO’s assessment of state costs

“The bill would repeal the requirements of the REAL ID Act and replace them with more flexible requirements for issuing compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards.”

This is true in some respects, and not in others. As I noted before, PASS ID is on a tighter implementation schedule which is the main driver of costs.

“The bill also would authorize appropriations that could be used to pay for those requirements, and it would prohibit the federal government from charging fees to states to access the SAVE and SSOLV data systems.”

Because it’s federal, this is something that CBO actually knows about, and its assessment is that PASS ID would dole out a total of $123 million to states over the next five years. Washington, D.C.’s highest spending year would be fiscal 2013, in which it would spend $39 million, less than $1 million per state.

And those savings when the federal government doesn’t charge states for using its databases? Just $2 million each year in fiscal 2010 and 2011.

Nothing in the CBO estimate changes the conclusion that implementing a national ID would cost states over $10 billion dollars, as they hired new staff, acquired new equipment and systems, and marched 250 million Americans through their DMVs. The federal government is promising to dole out $123 million and offer states a whopping $4 million in savings on data access.

The National Governors Association’s argument that PASS ID reduces costs to states is ludicrous. And the paltry funds Congress might share with states is a drop in the bucket. The homeland security appropriations bill for fiscal 2010 cuts funding for REAL ID by $40 million from its 2009 funding level. PASS ID would fare no better.

State governors and legislatures that have fallen for the PASS ID cost estimates of the National Governors Association and National Conference of State Legislatures should fire these financial advisors. NGA and NCSL are trying to grow federal power at the expense of state coffers.

Congressman Sestak supports passage of H.R. 2892, the Homeland Security Appropriations Act and supports local homeland defense projects in district

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2010 today after the House and Senate reconciled differences in their versions of the bills. Included in the bill was $500,000 for Upper Darby Township Police Department’s 2009 Public Safety Building Restoration Project, an appropriation submitted by Congressman Joe Sestak (PA-07) to improve emergency response and coordination in the township.

REAL ID: $60 million, $40 million below 2009, to help states comply with REAL ID, which requires state driver’s licenses to meet new standards in order to be used for federal identification purposes. Of this total, $50 million is for the driver’s license security grant program, the same as 2009, and $10 million is for REAL ID hub development.

By Jason Miller
Executive Editor

The Homeland Security Department is pushing back the deadline by six weeks for states to request an extension to comply with the REAL ID program.

DHS in its January 2008 final rule set an Oct. 11, 2009 target for states request extra time. States now have until Dec. 1 to request more time to comply with the law.

“All states timely filed the required request for extensions and were granted an extension of the compliance date,” DHS states in a Federal Register notice issued today. “DHS has determined that additional time is warranted for states to submit a request for an additional extension.”

States that do not request an extension still must meet the Jan. 1, 2010 deadline to begin issuing driver’s licenses or other identification cards to issue documents, driver’s licenses or other identification cards that meet the security requirements outlined in the REAL ID Act of 2005.

Congress is considering legislation to change REAL ID to PASS ID, which would reduce the cost and to states. The National Governors Association and others have estimated implementing REAL ID could cost as much as $4 billion.

The Senate’s version of the law passed the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, but the House legislation has not gotten out of the Homeland Security Committee.

PASS ID would:

  • Amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to prohibit agencies from accepting state-issued driver’s licenses and personal identification cards unless the state issues such licenses and cards that are materially compliant with the minimum standards of this act;
  • Prohibit persons from being denied boarding a commercial aircraft solely because of failure to present a driver’s license or identification card issued pursuant to this act;
  • Specify a minimum document requirements and issuance standards for such licenses and cards;
  • Direct the DHS secretary to enter into the appropriate aviation security screening database information on persons who have been convicted of using a false driver’s license at an airport; and to establish a state-to-state one driver, one license demonstration program;
  • Establish a State Driver’s License Enhancement Grant Program;
  • Make it unlawful for a person knowingly and without lawful authority to copy or resell information from a driver’s license or identification card.

“Under REAL ID, states not able to certify full compliance by December 31,2009, may request an extension until May 10,2011. A Material Compliance Checklist must accompany the extension request. As of December 31,2009, DHS and its Components may not accept driver’s licenses issued by states that are not in material compliance with REAL ID Act for any official purpose, including identification for domestic air travel.” – Janet Napolitano, in an extension letter to Gov. Jim Douglas of Vermont

I’m beginning to get the impression that this is a

game of pass the bramble.

So everyone just relax &
“Pass the Dutchie… to the left one side… ”
– Musical Youth

The following rhetoric is a pleasant surprise from colleague, Mark Lerner, known for possessing good information about Real ID.

Commentary by Mark Lerner of Stop Real ID Coalition

Today the DHS extended the deadline for states to ask for an extension in order to comply with the Real ID Act 2005. Prior to today the states had until 11 October 2009 to ask for an extension. States now have until 1 December 2009.

What I find very interesting is the strategy DHS and others are using to persuade states and Congress to agree to support the PASS ID Act, SB261.

DHS is reminding states and Congress that under current federal law (The Real ID Act 2005) DHS will be left with no alternative but to comply with the Real ID Act, 31 December 2009. I was present for Secretary Napolitano’s testimony before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs committee on 15 July 2009. The Secretary verbally drew an image of long lines at airports and entrances to federal facilities.

According to the Secretary everyone would have to be subject to secondary screening procedures because not one State would be Real ID compliant by 31 December 2009.

I question why it is that we seem to always be told that if we do not do something today the sky will fall. Yes, the PASS ID Act, if passed and signed into law would give the States new timelines to comply with federal legislation (PASS Act) and the old timelines of the Real ID Act would no longer be in effect.

There are other alternatives. Congress may decide to extend the implementation date for the Real ID Act 2005 past 31 December 2009.

If I did not trust DHS I might think that the extension is being given so that the opposition to the Real ID Act would not be apparent on 11 October. If the 11 October date came and States did not ask for extensions there would be “discussion” about why states were not asking for the extensions. By extending the date until 1 December it gives Congress the time to pass the PASS ID Act legislation and have it signed by the President before any discussion takes place.

The best alternative would be if Congress would allow opposing testimony to the PASS Act and consider additional alternatives to the Real ID Act 2005, PASS ID Act (SB1261) and the Real ID Repeal and Identification Security Enhancement Act of 2009 (HR3471). Senator Lieberman did not allow any opposing testimony to the PASS Act when the legislation was in the committee he chairs.

It is noteworthy that Senator Lieberman did not allow opposing testimony and now DHS seems to want to eliminate the “discussion” about why States would not as for extensions to comply with the Real ID Act.

For those of you who do not know, many of those who oppose the Real ID Act oppose the PASS ID legislation for the same reasons.

Why are our elected officials and DHS so afraid of debate/discussion about the Real ID Act 2005, the PASS ID Act and the Real ID Repeal and Identification Security Enhancement Act of 2009? The answer is very simple. DHS and Congress are afraid if there is a discussion about the Real ID Act 2005 and/or other proposed legislation that discussion might turn into a much broader discussion about the power the federal government is seeking over States and citizens. [*cough* “IMMIGRATION”-BTC]

It is time for a discussion about civil liberties and national security.

We, as a country have gone through this charade before. There was no debate at all in the United States Senate when the Real ID Act 2005 passed and was signed into law.