Funding the REAL ID Act: Improved Homeland Security or More Washington Waste?

Capitol Hill Briefing
July 20, 2007 2:00PM
Dirksen Senate Office Building SD 342
Featuring: David Williams, Vice President of Policy, Citizens Against Government Waste; Andrew Moylan, Government Affairs Manager, National Taxpayers Union; and Jim Harper, Director of Information Policy Studies, Cato Institute.
The REAL ID Act has been endlessly controversial. Because of its costs to taxpayers, the burdens it would place on native-born citizens, the harm it would do to privacy, and its dubious security benefits, more than 15 states have passed bills or resolutions calling for its repeal, asking for changes, or outright refusing to implement this national ID system. Congress may soon consider whether to spend billions of dollars attempting to entice states back into the REAL ID system. Department of Homeland Security estimates placed the total cost of REAL ID at over $17 billion dollars. Should these dollars go to REAL ID, to better-focused security efforts, or should they be returned to taxpayers? Please join us for a discussion of REAL ID’s costs and consequences.