Over the weekend, Congress passed H.R. 2638, a Fiscal Year 2009 Continuing Resolution that includes funding for federal agencies though March. President Bush signed the bill into law earlier this week. H.R. 2638 includes a provision granting $100 million for state implementation of REAL ID. (These funds are in addition to the $79 million in grants DHS gave to states for REAL ID implementation earlier this year.)
H.R. 2638 reads:
SEC. 547. For grants to States pursuant to section 204(a) of the REAL ID Act of 2005 (division B of Public Law 109-13), $50,000,000, to remain available until expended. In addition, for developing an information sharing and verification capability with States to support implementation of the REAL ID Act, $50,000,000, to remain available until expended: Provided, That none of the funds provided in this section for development of the information sharing and verification system shall be available to create any new system of records from the data accessible by such information technology system, or to create any means of access by Federal agencies to such information technology system other than to fulfill responsibilities pursuant to the REAL ID Act of 2005.
“Verification hub” is just the latest euphemism for the national identification system DHS seeks to create by linking the motor vehicle databases of all 56 states and territories. This massive national database could contain data on all 240 million driver’s license and cardholders nationwide, if all the states and territories agree to implement the national ID system. Read More