The REAL ID Act took another blow in the Senate last week, hopefully putting legislators one step closer to ditching the national ID mandate.
An amendment tacked onto the Homeland Security appropriations bill would have given $300 million in federal funds to implement the Act. This measly sum would have done nothing to make up for the $23 billion burden states and taxpayers will be forced to bear.
Moreover, throwing more money at the states can't fix REAL ID's fundamental problems. The Act would require possession of a new standardized drivers license for all sorts of everyday tasks, such as getting on a plane or train, and would create a vast national database linking all of the ID records together. Over time, the ID and aggregation of your personal information would facilitate a wide range of tracking and surveillance by the government and businesses.
So far, 17 state legislatures have already expressed their opposition, and, just last month, an immigration reform bill was scuttled as Senators refused to end debate on a provision requiring every American to present a REAL ID in order to get a job.
That's great news, but unfortunately REAL ID isn't dead yet -- keep the momentum going and tell Congress to repeal the Act now.