Comments at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday were more negative. The chairman, Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, complained that security rules were supposed to be “smart as well as tough” and predicted that state motor vehicle departments would not be able to cope with the requirements, which include verifying all documents presented by applicants. Even renewals will require birth certificates or other proof of legal residence. And the change will impose billions of dollars in costs on states and localities, Mr. Leahy and others said.
Mr. Leahy, who is a sponsor of a bipartisan bill to repeal the rules before they take effect, asserts that the department cannot even safeguard the personal information of its own employees. (Recently the department acknowledged that it had released the names and Social Security numbers of thousands of employees, including undercover sky marshals.)
Missouri is one of the states which has opposed these requirements, though only after already causing problems for state residents the past couple of years with requirements for getting driver's licenses.
All information about the 9-11 attacks indicates IDs were not the problem. Everyone involved was here on a real ID; it is just that our government simply failed to keep track of them, and did not heed warning signs (such as the number taking flight lessons) that something was afoot.
Instead, average citizens who have never caused any problems are being required to prove that they belong here, which is not the American way and never has been. And, of course, our politicians are never content to stop. Some of the ones who are now opposing the Real ID requirements are the same ones who are pushing the unneeded and unwanted photo voter ID legislation.
Why don't we just use some common sense?