From the Office of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Democrats Defeat Attempt to Create National Identification System

October 29, 2003

Washington, D.C. -- Last night, House Democrats defeated a controversial Republican bill (H.R. 2359) that would have created a national identification system.

"Democrats defeated a Republican attempt to expand a flawed verification program," House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said. "Creating a national identification system would be contrary to our nation’s principles and our civil liberties. It would be unnecessarily intrusive on Americans."

The bill would have expanded a pilot program that currently operates in six states into a national verification program. The measure was met with strong opposition by groups such as Americans for Tax Reform, the American Conservative Union, and the National Immigration Law Center. The groups cited privacy and accuracy problems in the pilot program as reasons for opposing the bill.

"If implemented nationwide, the pilot program being used in Texas, California, Florida, Illinois, Nebraska and New York would create a single database with no privacy protections that would make it easy for the government to track its own citizens," said Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (D-Texas). "This bill comes dangerously close to threatening the privacy of the Americans and non-Americans alike."




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