Congressman Faleomavaega announced that on May 5, 2005 by a vote of 368-58-1 the House passed H.R. 1268, the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief, 2005. Included in H.R. 1268 was the Real ID Act which now includes Faleomavaega’s provisions for U.S. nationals.
“On February 16, 2005, I released a statement to the press informing the public that the Real ID Act was introduced in the House on January 26, 2005 and that no hearings were held and amendments were restricted on the Floor. Although there was some uncertainty about whether or not the Senate would pass the Real ID Act, I moved forward to make sure clarification of U.S. nationals was included in the bill.”
“In brief, the Real ID Act requires a State or Territory to make sure a person is a U.S. citizen before a driver’s license can be issued. While the bill applies to American Samoa, the section of the bill relating to state verification of documentation before a license is issued did not specifically provide for U.S. nationals and, as written, would not allow American Samoa’s licensing authority to issue licenses or ID’s to the people of American Samoa,” the Congressman said.
“U.S. nationals moving to, or living in, another State would also face difficulties because these States would face the same citizenship requirements before issuance of a license. This said, I brought this matter to the attention of the Judiciary Committee and Republican Chairman James Sensenbrenner and Ranking Democratic Member John Conyers made the changes I requested. I thank Chairman Sensenbrenner and Congressman Conyers for their support.”
“Once again, Democrats and Republicans continue to work together for the good of our nation and for the good of American Samoa. As a result of this legislation which was passed by a majority of Democrats and Republicans, the U.S. will be able to provide more funding for our soldiers and for tsunami relief. The issue for U.S. nationals is also now resolved and, for this, I thank the people of American Samoa for your continued support and prayers,” the Congressman concluded.