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Congressman Paul leads effort to
overturn national ID requirement


WASHINGTON, DC -- Calling on the federal government to end its war on the privacy rights of American citizens and the prerogatives of state governments, Rep. Ron Paul (R, Texas) is leading a bipartisan team attempting to stop the national ID card, which is set for implementation on Oct. 1, 2000.

The Privacy Protection Act of 1999 was introduced Thursday, June 24, to repeal the sections of the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibilities Act that set the national ID in place. Co-sponsoring the legislation is US Rep. John Hostettler (R, Indiana), Maurice Hinchey (D, New York) and Bob Barr (R, Georgia).

The legislation is supported by a broad coalition of groups spanning the political spectrum -- the National Conference of State Legislatures, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, the National Council of La Raza, Eagle Forum, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Free Congress Foundation and Americans for Tax Reform.

"Under the provisions of the 1996 law, no American will be able to get a job, open a bank acount, apply for Social Security or Medicare benefits, purchase a firearm or even take an airplane flight unless their state's drivers' license conforms to the national ID," said Rep. Paul. "Any member of Congress who refuses to support this common-sense legislation obviously has not considered -- or has considered and rejected -- the reaction of his constituents when they learn they must produce their government papers in order to do just about anything."

Rep. Paul said he is pleased to have the backing not only of his colleagues but also of the American people. Congressional offices have been flooded with mail from constituents on this issue, said Paul.

"This probably marks the first time state legislators and county officials have teamed up with liberal groups likethe ACLU and conservative organizations like Free Congress and Eagle Forum, to stop what is a singularly bad idea."

Rep. Paul is considered to be one of Congress' leaders in defending Americans' privacy rights. He was the first congressman to speak out against the now-withdrawn "Know Your Customer" regulations. He has also been leading the opposition to postal regulations that strip away the fundamental privacy of mailbox users. His legislation to overturn the postal regulations already has more than 30 cosponsors.

"Privacy rights are fundamental to our system of government. These big-government programs only further erode our precious liberties, which is why the issue cuts across political party lines and the ideological spectrum."

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