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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 DeFazioDemocrats offer bills to boost IRS audits of rich, corporations House Democrats call on Biden to fill Postal Service Board vacancies to pave way for ousting DeJoy House Democrats' draft coronavirus relief legislation includes B for U.S. airlines MORE (D-Ore.), Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonLawmakers line up behind potential cyber breach notification legislation NAACP president accuses Trump of having operated under 'white supremacist doctrine' Lawmakers blame SolarWinds hack on 'collective failure' to prioritize cybersecurity MORE (D-Miss), and Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation and Maritime Security Chairman Lou CorreaJose (Lou) Luis CorreaRep. Lou Correa tests positive for COVID-19 An attack on America that's divided Congress — and a nation FAA: No more warnings for unruly passengers on flights 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.