Senate Democrats who oppose the REAL ID Act may have little choice but to support the measure when it emerges from a joint House-Senate conference committee attached to the $81-billion Iraq supplemental request. The bill prohibits federal agencies from accepting driver’s licenses from states that give licenses to illegal aliens, tightens asylum laws and closes a gap in a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Even Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) is conceding this is one piece of legislation the Democrats dare not filibuster. “They put it on a supplemental, which they knew you couldn’t stop,” said Reid. “I’ve had a senator come to me and say, ‘We’re going to filibuster this.’ I said, ‘Get real. It’s not going to happen. It’s a defense bill.'” House Judiciary Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R.-Wis.) introduced the REAL ID Act in January after similar provisions were stripped from the law responding to the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. Unlike last fall, Sensenbrenner now has White House backing for the measure.