In 2006, New Hampshire was the first state in the country to reject compliance with the Republican-backed REAL ID Act, an unconstitutional expansion of federal power over state identification cards. This led to a wave of states doing the same, effectively nullifying the federal act in practice.Details
Governor Steve Bullock reasserted that the state would not comply with the Act in a letter to the United States Department of Homeland Security. Bullock’s letter explicitly notes that Montana’s objections are premised upon understanding of the state’s authority and concern over the collection of personal and private information of its citizens.Details
Should the bill pass into law, West Virginia will join approximately 24 other states who have refused to comply, including most recently their neighbor to the west.Details
by Jim Harper, for the CATO Institute
It’s appropriations season! – that wonderful time of year when the House and Senate pass competing versions of legislation to fund government agencies, bureaus, and…whatever pork and pet projects they can squeeze in.
Congress has made most of its spending decisions over the past few years through last-minute continuing resolutions or consolidated appropriations bills. That makes it harder to follow the money (which may be part of the reason they’ve been doing it that way), but it’s important to watch the dollars because some of that money is going toward national ID systems and biometrics.
Last week the House passed their FY 2014 Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill. As in years past, the legislation contains funding for three of everyone’s favorite identification programs: REAL ID, E-Verify, and US-VISIT/the Office of Biometric Identity Management (OBIM), a DHS office covering biometrics for travelers at airports, ports, and other points of entry.
For the coming fiscal year, the House appropriated $114 million for E-Verify, $232 million for OBIM, and $1.2 billion for the State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP), from which grants for REAL ID implementation get doled out to states.Details