Lawmakers spar over REAL ID extension

The congressmen argue that had the law previously taken effect as planned it would have been possible to identify Saudi Arabian terrorist suspect Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, who was arrested in Texas last week, when he used a fraudulent birth certificate to obtain a driver's license.

“Until REAL ID is fully implemented, terrorists will continue to exploit this vulnerability to accomplish heinous purposes," the letter states.

However, Senate Judiciary panel chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who opposed the law, praised the decision to delay implementation.

“I have made no secret of my disagreement with this policy, which was rushed through Congress with little debate or consideration," Leahy said.

"This law has saddled the states with enormous costs and burdened citizens with the prospect of what effectively would be a national identification card. When so many states are struggling with extremely difficult budget choices, the last thing they need is to think about how to pay for this unfunded federal mandate."