Harold Gray
February 23, 2009

A new amendment has been introduced that would coerce states to transform their drivers licenses into national ID cards or loose highway funding from the government. The Real ID Act, signed by former President George Bush in 2005, would create a nationwide database interlinked with every DMV across the country. Once implemented, it would prevent any citizen to enter any federal building, airport, open a bank account or any other action that is federally regulated. The bill was passed in a questionable manner, secretly tacked on to a must-pass appropriations bill funding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Without any congressional debate, the passage of this bill created massive public backlash which lead to several internet campaigns seeking to repeal the act.

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Currently, 21 states oppose the Real ID federal mandate that would require states to spend billions collectively, in order to fulfill all the requirements. The vehement opposition by the states has forced the government plan to be pushed back to 2010. Now that many states are in the midst of a revenue downturn, a new Real ID amendment, H.R. 140, has been introduced. Sponsored by Congressman Elton Gallegly from California, the amendment seeks to do the following:

To withhold certain highway funds if a State does not comply with certain requirements in issuing a driver’s license or identification card, and for other purposes.

(1) CALENDAR YEAR 2010- For calendar year 2010, 2 percent.

(2) CALENDAR YEAR 2011- For calendar year 2011, 4 percent.

(3) CALENDAR YEAR 2012- For calendar year 2012, 6 percent.

(4) CALENDAR YEAR 2013 AND EACH CALENDAR YEAR THEREAFTER- For calendar year 2013 and in each calendar year thereafter, 8 percent.

Increasing legislative actions by federal government to exert control over states has kick started a fast growing movement of states claiming sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment. Well over 21 states have introduced legislation asserting their sovereignty, just recently Minnesota and Texas followed suit.

The people and states make up this union, and should have the final say about this personal database being created and stored on the pretense to make us safe. The idea of a national database which includes all of our personal data that could be readily accessed and abused by one bad apple in the government, is not a representation of the freedom that our founders had in mind when forming this great nation under our beloved Constitution.

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