On Friday, John McCain sneaked in an amendment to S2845 that, in effect, establishes a national identification card system, requiring all states to conform to database standards for drivers' licenses and state I.D.'s. S2845 may be voted upon TONIGHT. Please do two things immediately:
1. Send this to everyone you know asking them to take the same two steps outlined here.
2. Call your Senators NOW. Ask them to remove the National ID language from the bill before it is voted upon!
Here is a toll free number to the Capital which will connect you to your Senators' offices:
Don't waste a minute!
From Lynne Bradley- American Library Association
ALAWON Washington Office Newsline Volume 13, Number 74 October 5, 2004
In This Issue: Oppose McCain Amendment to Intelligence Reform Bill
URGENT ACTION ALERT:
Library supporters - contact U.S. senators ASAP to oppose McCain amendment on Intelligence Reform legislation, S 2845.
Whether intended or not, one consequence of a new amendment to the Collins-Lieberman "National Intelligence Reform Act of 2004," S 2845, is the establishment of a national identification card system. In a clever weekend maneuver, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) introduced an amendment that essentially creates a national I.D. card system by requiring all states to conform to database standards for drivers' licenses and state I.D.'s. There are many problems with this proposal relating to privacy concerns as well as other issues such as creating an unfunded mandate.
ALA asks that library supporters contact their U.S. senators as soon as possible to request their support in removing this amendment from S. 2845. A vote could happen as soon as tomorrow (Wednesday, Oct. 6.)
ALA has long worked in opposition to proposals calling for a national I.D. system and other initiatives that needlessly intrude into personal privacy. ALA's policies are based upon principles of the confidentiality of library patron records. With the use of more library SMART cards as well as the ubiquitous use of drivers' licenses as one of the main forms of identification used to get public library cards and most other forms of transactions (checking accounts, school enrollment, etc.) ... the creation of a standardized system across all states creates, in essence, a national I.D. card system - but without the full and public debate that should occur about such a proposal.
On the House side, there is an even worse provision in H.R. 10. In a worse case scenario should the McCain amendment remain intact on the Senate bill, there would be a common provision to conference when the bills are negotiated into one final bill.
ALA has taken no position on the S 2845, except for this amendment. Key senate leaders on the bill, Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Leiberman (D-CT) have worked hard on S 2845 and there has been much floor debate in recent days. Senator McCain recently joined them in asking for quick passage of the bill, which is based substantially on the 9/11 Commission report.
However, the McCain proposal on drivers' licenses was NOT part of the Commission's recommendations. Library supporters are asked to call or fax their senators to seek removal of the McCain amendment. To use the ALA Legislative Action Center site go to the ALA web pages .
For further information call the ALA Washington Office at 1-800-941-8478.
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