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'Real ID' Bill Caught in Legislative Limbo

Fox News | April 4 2005

WASHINGTON — A bill that would require all states to verify federal immigration documents and birth certificates before issuing federally recognized drivers' licenses to its residents is still in limbo as Congress returns from its Easter recess and possibly toward a renewed push.

The "Real ID Act," sponsored by Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., passed the House 261-161 on Feb. 10. The act would prohibit anyone without a federally recognized state-issued ID from boarding an airplane or accessing federal programs that require federally recognized identification.

Critics say that the legislation would hit at least 10 states particularly hard, be extremely costly and create a national identification system.

Jeff Lundgren, spokesman for the Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee, told that Senate Republicans may attempt to attach a version of Real ID to a must-pass bill, like the upcoming war supplemental appropriations expected to come up in the Senate after the Easter recess. But so far, Senate leadership sources say it’s not on any immediate agenda.

"The Senate will have to address it as opposed to ignoring the whole issue," Lundgren said. The White House has already expressed support for the plan.