Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), former Chair of the House Judiciary Committee and author of REAL ID, responded to the news that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), will again delay implementation of REAL ID’s security requirements for drivers’ licenses. A DHS official testified before a House Subcommittee in March that the Administration had no plans to delay implementation further.
“Earlier this year, the Administration testified before a Judiciary Subcommittee hearing that DHS would not delay the deadline for states to comply with REAL ID. I am disappointed and extremely concerned that the Obama Administration will not be honoring that commitment. This is a dangerous reversal. The Administration is not taking seriously the security risk of delaying REAL ID implementation further.”
“Every step of the way, the Administration has stonewalled implementation of this critical national security law. They have not given states necessary and timely guidance, encouraging states not to comply with delay after delay. This is the fourth time DHS delayed the implementation of something the 9/11 Commission said was critical to preventing another terrorist attack. The 9/11 hijackers had at least 30 pieces of identification on them. We need the Administration to implement the law and fulfill the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations."
On March 21, 2012, David Heyman, DHS Assistant Secretary for the Office of Policy, testified before the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security and assured Congress that DHS would not extend the REAL ID deadline for states:
SENSENBRENNER: So, Mr. Heyman, let me ask you, when are the states going to get some guidance, better guidance?
HEYMAN: Guidance is in OMB now for clearance. It should be forthcoming in the next couple of weeks.
SENSENBRENNER: Now, during an oversight hearing that this committee had last November, Secretary Napolitano refused to say whether or not the DHS would hold firm to the January 15th, 2013 deadline. Is DHS going to extend the deadline again?
Mr. HEYMAN. We have no plans to extend the deadline.