Archive for the ‘NGA’ Category

Extension Is Not The Answer, Napolitano Says

WASHINGTON – Napolitano, the former governor of Arizona, is sympathetic to opponents of Real ID. In fact, she used to be one herself. But she says waiving the law’s requirements, as was done last year, is the wrong way to go.

“One of the reasons we had Real ID and now, Pass ID, is because the 9/11 Commission had a recommendation that we improve the security quality of driver’s licenses. And because Real ID has been rejected by the states, just by granting extension after extension after extension, we’re not getting to the pathway of more secure driver’s licenses.”

Under the current provisions of Real ID, travelers from states not in compliance with the law would, among other things, not be able to use their driver’s licenses as IDs to board commercial flights. That would cause massive travel disruptions during the holiday season, requiring additional screening of virtually all travelers. No one expects that to happen. But like Napolitano, the governors want to see the new law approved, rather than once again extending Real ID’s deadline.

“It appears it could be extended again, but really, you’re putting a Band-Aid on a pretty big open wound,” Quam says. “What the governors have said for a long time is, you need to change the law — the law is flawed.”

But time is running out for a congressional fix, which means a last-minute blanket waiver of Real ID is becoming more and more likely.

Blaming border fence for deaths makes little sense

c/o San Diego Union Times >> ALIPAC

Those immigration activists who oppose more border fencing don’t have to convince us of the folly of trying to solve our immigration problem with nothing more than barbed wire and metal barriers. We’re with them. Unlike those Americans who’d like to simply build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and call it a day, we’ve never been convinced that this was a wise strategy. ::: MORE HERE:::

South Carolina Updates Homeland Security On Federal REAL ID Program

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…

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.

NPR: SC,NH,MT,ME Challenge Homeland Security’s ID Deadline

Real ID Opposed Causes NGA Extra Laps 03-26-08

DHS has already given states a break announcing it allow another five years to comply with Real ID under regulations issued this past January that cut the cost and gave states more flexibility.

Key lawmakers on Capitol Hill also continue to question the law, which received no hearings, was attached to an emergency funding bill and passed overwhelmingly by the then Republican-controlled Congress. Bills since introduced in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives would repeal the act, but have not advanced past committees.

Eight U.S. senators recently sent a scathing letter to DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff, asking that all states be given an exemption until the end of next year. The agency rejected the request on March 21.

Tim Sparapani, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer, is not convinced that DHS really will enforce the law: There is no sign that the federal Transportation Security Administration, which handles airport security, is hiring the extra security personnel for airports that could need stepped-up security checks in May, he said.

David Quam, NGA’s chief lobbyist, said states and the federal government are at an important crossroads. “We’re at a fork in the road. If we go one direction, the states and federal government can work together to get this done, and if we go the other direction, it will be much more difficult.” ::FULL STORY HERE::

BeatTheChip Targets Suggested Real ID Lobbys or Be “BIOMETRIFIED”

Persons with aggrivated concerns over Real ID should start badgering Washington lobbyists. Here are a suggested list of offending companies who should get a knock at the door, phone calls and letters regarding this. Lobbyist contact information can be obtained by signing up at for a FREE 5 day trial of their database product.

Real ID lobbyists may fall under the following search: Legislative Issues
Computer Industry
Government Issues
Homeland Security

Here are most of the companies & non-profits who insist that you need biometric face scanns and microchips in your nationalized licenses:
1) Digimarc : $350,000 in Real- ID lobbys; Janice Kephart, 911 Securities Solutions
2) The National Governor’s Association : David Quam has been paid to push.
3) AAMVA: pushed Drivers License Compact & New! World Class Drivers License Agreement
4) Coalition for Secure Driver’s License, Janice Kephart, 9-11 Securities Solutions
5) Infotech Strategies, Inc. : John K Raffetto
6) Security Exchange Commission : a.k.a. The Military Industrial Complex