December 18, 2006
Repealing Real ID now a Real Possibility
By Jim Babka
Are we winning?

The opposition to the REAL ID Act, which would create a national identification system, has been great and unrelenting.

It has come from hundreds of groups, including state governments, but we know of no group that has been more relentless than DC Downsizers. We have so far pumped out 40,362 messages to Congress calling for the repeal of the REAL ID Act.

Now, two Senators, Democrat Daniel Akaka of Hawaii and Republican John Sununu of New Hampshire, are threatening to sponsor legislation that would do just that -- repeal the REAL ID Act!

But . . .

They would first like to see the Department of Homeland Security adopt new regulations that would reduce the cost of REAL ID to state governments, and increase privacy protections for citizens.

Frankly, no one knows if such changes are even possible. The REAL ID Act requires the states to electronically verify the validity of birth certificates used to acquire ID cards and driver's licenses. This is so technically difficult that the cost to state governments is expected to be an additional $8 billion.

And it may not work -- even after the money is spent! Long(er) lines and (increased) delays are expected at DMVs around the country.

State governments are also required to share data between themselves so that a person born in one state can have his or her birth certificate electronically verified in another. There's a very real concern that this entire system of electronic verification will be extremely vulnerable to hackers, providing what "Information Week" has called "one-stop-shopping" for identity thieves.

Given how much the states are already being burdened financially, these technical difficulties may be insurmountable. As things stand now, state governments are expected to comply with the REAL ID Act in less time than it took the Department of Homeland Security to write the initial regulations.

Now, Akaka and Sununu want these regulations rewritten or they will take steps to repeal REAL ID! The Senators have also complained that Congress was "forced" to pass this ill-considered legislation because it was combined with an emergency defense spending bill.

We want to point out two things . . .

First, this bill would not have been passed had Downsize DC's "Read the Bills Act," or our proposed "One Subject at a Time Act," been the law of the land.

Second, we would not now have the trouble of trying to comply with this ill-considered legislation if Downsize DC's "Write the Laws Act" had been in effect. Instead of delegating the legislative details to unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats at the Department of Homeland Security, Congress would have had to work out the details themselves. It likely would have been too much for them and they would have left well-enough-alone.

Well, if Congress is incapable of figuring out how to do it's job, we will do it for them. DC Downsizers will tell them what they need to do, and how they need to do it. Now is the time to give them more instructions.

Yes, we know, they're busy moving into new offices, and all that (and some of them may already be gone, for good), but (for the rest) that just means this is a good time to pile on and remind them what their priorities need to be. Akaka and Sununu have opened a crack in the door. Now, let's slam it all the way open.

Bombard Congress with messages demanding the repeal of the REAL ID Act. You can do so here.

Secondly, there are only five days left before we close for the Holidays. Please help us make our December fundraising goal (which now down to about $6,000 to go) so we can be in fine fighting form to oppose the 100-hour legislative onslaught the Democrats have planned for the first week of January. You can make your contribution here.

Thank you for being a DC Downsizer.

Jim Babka
President, Inc.
Blog commenting is currently under construction. In the meantime, you can send an email if there's something you'd like to tell us.

What Can We Do For You?

We can help you downsize the federal government, if you want that. All you have to do is join. It's free! In return...

We'll give you an army.

We're recruiting a huge army of supporters to work for what you want.

We'll give you influence.

The Downsize DC Army will exert relentless, resistance-numbing pressure on Congress.

We'll make your voice heard.

We'll use our growing army to make your beliefs heard by everyone, everywhere, every day.

We'll give you winning strategies.

Ideas like our "Read the Bills Act" and the "One Subject at a Time Act" will give you the leverage to win the public debate, control Congress, and Downsize DC!

We'll give you powerful tools.

  • Your free membership includes a subscription to our free email newsletter, the Consent Chronicle, which national talk show host Jerry Hughes calls by far the best newsletter he receives.
  • You'll be able to use our Educate the Powerful SystemSM to pressure Congress. It's easy. All it takes is a few mouse clicks and keyboard strokes. You can do it in your bathrobe while you're drinking your morning coffee, or during a break at work.
  • You'll also gain access to our 16-page strategy document, "The Downsize DC Vision." You'll learn about important insights like "ignoring an axiom," and powerful strategies like "picking off the herd." One reader called this document "the unified field theory" of political change.

To gain these benefits, just enter your email address in the box below and hit Subscribe!

Subscribe to the Consent Chronicle
Enter your email address twice: