PA asks Trump to back away from Real ID

Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Chris Woodward (

Dept. of Homeland Security emblemAn organization that pushes for privacy rights is applauding Pennsylvania lawmakers for their letter to President Donald Trump about "Real ID."

Passed by Congress in 2005, the Real ID ACT enacted recommendations from the 9/11 Commission that set security standards for issuing of personal identification, such as drivers' licenses.

States have since made progress in meeting the commission's recommendations but there are critics of "Real ID" who view it as government intrusion.

In Pennsylvania, notes Twila Brase of the Citizens Council for Health Freedom, state legislators have concluded that the federal government is intruding on certain rights afforded to their state government.

Brase, Twila (CCHF)"So the legislators are essentially asking President Trump to correct this problem," says Brase, a registered nurse is known for her vocal opposition to the Affordable Care Act even before its passage.

Her defense of people's privacy, one of many concerns about ObamaCare, includes the Real ID law and its reach.

Half the states have conformed to Real ID. Of the 25 states that have not, 20 have an extension and the remaining five do not.

Pennsylvania has yet to comply with the Real ID Act and has until June 6 to comply. 

Driving and identification are functions of state governments, Brase insists, and hence Pennsylvania is arguing that the federal government is overreaching where it doesn't belong.

A letter sent to Trump was signed by 116 Pennsylvania lawmakers who argue the federal law trumps their state's right to create drivers' license regulations, a Fox News affiliate reported

According to Brase, there are three official purposes listed in the federal law: flying, access to federal facilities, and access to nuclear facilities.

voter ID being shown 620x300However, Brase says the Secretary of Homeland Security can increase the purposes for which a Real ID card would be needed.

If he has that much power, she says, then access to firearms and ammunition, and health care services, could fall under the control of Homeland Security.

"I think the important thing for people to understand is what is being created by Real ID is essentially a national ID system that puts everyone's drivers' license and identification cards under control of the federal government," Brase warns.

Where does President Trump stand on Real ID?

signing exec orders 1"His new Secretary of Homeland Security has mentioned the word 'flexibility,' but that's all we've gotten so I don't know what that means," answers Brase. "I think it's important for Mr. Trump to understand that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the federal government cannot require states to implement states to implement a federal program."

And according to Brase, Real ID is a federal program.

"This is a national ID card," she says, "and the federal government does not want citizens to realize that it's a national ID card that they're getting."

Even if U.S. citizens are issued the card from state government, she adds, it is still a national I.D. card.

"That will control their access to goods and services, and travel and movement," she warns. 

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