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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 DeFazioHouse moderates unveil .25T infrastructure plan This week: Democrats set to begin chaotic three-week sprint Biden rejects new GOP offer as spending talks drag on MORE (D-Ore.), Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonHillicon Valley: Biden gives TikTok and WeChat a reprieve | Colonial Pipeline CEO addresses Congress again | Thomson Reuters shareholders want review of ICE ties Colonial Pipeline may use recovered ransomware attack funds to boost cybersecurity Democrats debate shape of new Jan. 6 probe MORE (D-Miss), and Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation and Maritime Security Chairman Lou CorreaJose (Lou) Luis CorreaLawmakers roll out legislation to defend pipelines against cyber threats House moderates signal concerns with Pelosi drug pricing bill Moderate Democrats warn leaders against meddling in Iowa race 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.