In response to heavy lobbying and a system that has not been certified, the passport requirements that were to go into effect at the end of next year have pushed it back a year. This will allow the systems to be set up properly, and give the lobbyists another year to spread their money all over Washington to the politicians.
The extension was added to the appropriations bill for the Department of Homeland Security.
Congress originally set Jan. 1, 2008, as the date that all travelers entering the United States from other countries in the Western hemisphere would be required to have a passport. The Department of Homeland Security proposed moving up that deadline to Jan. 8, 2007, for cruise ship and airplane passengers.
Now Congress has pushed back the passport deadline for land and sea travel to June 1, 2009. Passports or other secure documents could be required earlier than this date if the government makes a lower-cost identification option available and installs the technology to read these cards at entry points.
Congress didn’t change the passport deadline for air travel. Airlines already ask passengers for passports for international travel, even in the Western hemisphere, so the new requirement won’t disrupt air travel, according to the Travel Industry Association of America. via the Dayton Business Journal