DownsizeDC.org
May 17, 2007
Bulletin - Congress about to vote
By Jim Babka
We warned you.

We told you that this month was going to be a bad one with Congress. And yet, we haven't sent that many messages. But today Congress is so busy it requires a second message.

I'm not going to apologize for sending a second message -- it's Congresses' fault. 

This is an URGENT bulletin and phone calls are required. 

I'm writing to urge that you call your Representative in the U.S. House THIS AFTERNOON to oppose two amendments that would require the use of a REAL ID-compliant driver's license.

Some background . . .

On May 8, the Department of Homeland Security announced they had received over 12,000 public comments opposing DHS' proposed rules telling states how to implement REAL ID.

The REAL ID Act poses an unprecedented threat to personal privacy. Already, 10 states have passed legislation or a resolution formally opposing REAL ID. Of those ten two states, Montana and Washington have passed binding legislation forbidding the state from participating in REAL ID Act implementation.

In an additional 13 states, legislation opposing REAL ID has passed at least one chamber of the state legislature, and in an additional 12 states legislation is pending opposing REAL ID.

We're having an impact and the pro-Real ID forces are on the run. So now, they're pulling out some new tricks. 

There are two amendments that will be voted on today. We want to urge a NO Vote.
 
Rep. Price (R-GA) (Amendment #8) would require that in order for an individual to obtain federal homeownership assistance they would need to present a REAL ID license.
 
Rep. Steve King (R-IA) (Amendment #35) would demand that renters and homeowners present a Social Security Card that includes a photo ID (no such ID currently exists) or a REAL ID driver's license to obtain housing assistance.

You will probably note that both of these are restrictions on receiving federal funds. And, Downsize DC would indeed oppose these funding programs in principle.

But for the states opting out, this is a transparent squeeze-play. Already, the coming "Real ID" is going to be required to enter federal buildings, deal with federal bureaucracies, board airplanes and trains, and much more. Federal bureaucrats, members of the administration, and pro-Real ID members of Congress have tried to tell the states that they're putting their citizens at a disadvantage by opting out.

But everyone realizes that with each state that opts out, the pressure increases on the federal government to make it possible for the citizens in non-Real ID states to do things like board planes.

Now, the pro-Real ID forces are trying to multiply the number of citizens who will be affected by their state's courageous decision to opt-out. They're trying to squeeze these states into compliance. They must not be allowed to do this.

You can see who your House Representative is when you log-in at DownsizeDC.org.

Their office phone number is listed there as well.

* Please dial it.
* Identify yourself by name and town (so that they know they're hearing from a constituent.
* Then, politely and concisely, leave a message telling the person who answers that you want your Congressperson to vote NO on Price Amendment 8 and King Amendment 35.

Please do it now. Your Congressional office will be open for as long as the floor debates and votes continue.

You can also call the Congressional switchboard: (202)225-3121

Thank you for taking action on such short notice.

Jim Babka
President
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.
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