Thursday, March 27, 2008

Lamar seeing chance to nix Real ID Act

Republican Senator Lamar Alexander is getting ready to lead an effort to repeal REAL ID! I would argure this is yet another example of why we can safely say this law is unraveling before our very eyes. Taking REAL ID on at the federal level is especially heartening, because if successful, all the states would be saved from having to go through this fight individually.

The Hill reports:

Alexander’s target is the 2005 Real ID Act, which mandated that states adopt uniform federal standards for driver’s licenses. Despite the Tennessee Republican’s concerns, he was outnumbered by party colleagues who wanted to stop terrorists from exploiting loose identification laws. This time around, Alexander has leverage. As chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, he is the third-ranking Republican in the chamber. He also has a strong ally in Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who, like most Democrats, disagrees with the law.


When Congress returns next week, Alexander plans to file an amendment to the fiscal 2009 homeland security appropriations bill that would halt the program until the government finds a way to reimburse states for its cost.


Alexander, however, said he is still fuming over how the law was “stuck into the conference bill that all of us wanted to support, to fund the troops.”

“I objected as strongly as I could,” Alexander said. “But there never was a hearing [in] the Senate of any kind.”

Harper, of the Cato Institute, said such a dubious beginning to the bill may mean an early end. “If you pass a bill without hearings, you’re going to miss stuff,” he said. “And the authors of Real ID missed a lot.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

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