ALEXANDER STATEMENT--SENATE NARROWLY REJECTS REAL ID FUNDING AMENDMENT

Posted on July 26, 2007

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) made the following statement today after the Senate rejected his amendment to fund Real ID. “Congress needs to stop enacting its big ideas and then sending the bill to states and cities,” Alexander said. “I’m disappointed that my amendment to provide a $300 million down payment towards funding REAL ID fell four votes short.” The amendment was to the Fiscal Year 2008 Homeland Security Appropriations bill and would offset the $300 million price-tag for Real ID through a 0.8 percent across-the-board cut in the rest of the bill. States must be prepared to comply with the new Real ID standards by May 11, 2008. But last fall, the National Governors Association released a study estimating an $11 billion cost over five years for implementing the Real ID requirements. Other estimates put the price tag at more than $20 billion over the next decade. The Real ID Act of 2005 set minimum national standards for state driver’s licenses that would require up to 245 million U.S. driver’s license or identification card holders to get new IDs. Alexander’s amendment was supported by the National Governors Association.