I testified a few days ago at a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on REAL ID implementation. I expected to have harsh things to say about the way REAL ID has been handled by the National Governors Association and the Obama administration. And there was certainly plenty to criticize. But what surprised me after a few years away from the issue is how much progress has been made, almost reluctantly, by all parties. Much more secure identification is now within reach, though politics may delay the final steps much too long. Here’s some of what I told the subcommittee:
Unfortunately, not everyone agrees with the need for better drivers’ license security. Opposition to REAL ID unites the nations’ governors and the ACLU. As a candidate, President Obama campaigned against REAL ID. And as a governor, Secretary Napolitano did the same. So it was no surprise that the Obama administration supported repeal of REAL ID and adoption of a softer approach, called PASS ID. Expecting PASS ID to be adopted, the administration soft-pedaled the states’ obligations under REAL ID.