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House Dems ask DHS to delay Real ID deadline

House Dems ask DHS to delay Real ID deadline
© Greg Nash

Three Democratic chairmen of relevant House committees sent a letter Monday to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) asking for the implementation of the Real ID Act to be delayed, citing the rapid spread of the coronavirus.

The law's implementation plan stipulates that on Oct. 1, 2020, people will need Real ID-compliant identification in order to board commercial flights, enter federal buildings or gain access to American nuclear plants.

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazioPeter Anthony DeFazioTrump says talks on COVID-19 aid are now 'working out' Trump gambles with new stimulus strategy Trump infuriates business groups by halting COVID-19 talks MORE (D-Ore.), Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonLong-shot Espy campaign sees national boost in weeks before election House chairman asks Secret Service for briefing on COVID-19 safeguards for agents Hillicon Valley: House panel says Intelligence Community not equipped to address Chinese threats | House approves bill to send cyber resources to state, local governments MORE (D-Miss), and Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation and Maritime Security Chairman Lou CorreaJose (Lou) Luis CorreaCriminalization that never should have been: Cannabis Man arrested, charged with threatening to attack Muslims in Germany Gloves come off as Democrats fight for House seat in California MORE (D-Calif.) wrote in their letter that the deadline should be pushed back.

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“While we recognize the administration’s commitment to ensuring the nation’s full compliance with the REAL ID Act, the challenges presented by the coronavirus outbreak and its impacts on the aviation industry must lead DHS to delay the October 1 implementation deadline,” they wrote.

“For implementation to go smoothly, DHS would need tens of millions of Americans to get new identifications over the next several months. Creating lines at Departments of Motor Vehicles would be foolish during a pandemic,” they added.

Rollout of the new Real IDs has been shaky, even without likely delays from the spread of the coronavirus.

The last time the DHS gave an update on compliance, only 95 million out of 276 million total driver and ID cards met the Real ID standards.

The Hill has reached out to the DHS for comment on the letter.

The agency has previously declined requests to push back the Real ID implementation date.