Jaikumar Vijayan reports:
A decision by lawmakers to slash funding for the unpopular Real ID national driver’s license program has put an already struggling initiative on life support.
The U.S. Senate recently approved a $43 billion budget for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for the federal government’s 2010 fiscal year, which began Oct. 1. The appropriation called for substantial increases in DHS spending in several key technology areas but slashed Real ID funding by 40%, from $100 million to $60 million.
The budget cut suggests that Real ID is going nowhere, said Jim Harper, director of information policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute. But Congress’ hesitation to kill Real ID entirely highlights the touchy political nature of the program, he said.
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