Friday, May 06, 2005

How did I miss the passage of this?!?!

Apparently the military spending bill just passed by the House includes the creation of a national ID card.
Starting three years from now, if you live or work in the United States, you'll need a federally approved ID card to travel on an airplane, open a bank account, collect Social Security payments, or take advantage of nearly any government service. Practically speaking, your driver's license likely will have to be reissued to meet federal standards.
. . .
Homeland Security is permitted to add additional requirements--such as a fingerprint or retinal scan--on top of those [name, photo, number, security features, etc.]. We won't know for a while what these additional requirements will be.
The program (Real ID) also includes some burdensome requirements for immigrants and overrides some provisions of the Intelligence Reform Act. As Congressman Wexler says,
The Republican leadership shamelessly chose to bundle important aid with controversial new legislation forcing members of Congress to thoughtlessly consent to REAL ID in order to support tsunami assistance, increased funding for military personnel - including increased military death gratuities and life insurance benefits for active duty troops.
It is expected that Senators will be loath to vote against military and tsunami aid, and Bush is eager to sign such legislation, so this may be a done deal. But perhaps there is room for opposition, either legislative or legal, before the provision would go into effect.

(via boing boing)

Update: yup, the Senate passed it, 100 to 0. Nobody wants a vote "against the troops" on their record...

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