The governor’s (original) plan would have allowed illegal immigrants to obtain a driver’s license, but now it’s being linked to federal guidelines that will be outlined in the Real ID Act. Although Spitzer backed Real ID this week, a number of Democratic congress members from New York opposed it during a 2005 vote (which may explain why it hasn’t been easy getting most of them to say anything about Spitzer’s new plan).
One congressional aide was kind enough to refer me to the results of the 2005 vote on the Real ID Act.
Democrats Gary Ackerman (Queens/Nassau), Tim Bishop (Suffolk), Joe Crowley (Queens/Bronx), Eliot Engel (Bronx/Westchester), Carolyn Maloney (Manhattan/Queens), Greg Meeks (Queens), Jerry Nadler (Manhattan/Brooklyn), Charlie Rangel (Manhattan), Jose Serrano (Bronx), Ed Towns (Brooklyn), Nydia Velazquez (Manhattan/Brooklyn/Queens) and Anthony Weiner (Queens/Brooklyn) all voted against it.
UPDATE: Another congressional staffer, putting this story in context, noted that every Democratic congress member in the state voted against Real ID, except for Mike McNulty, who voted for it, and Maurice Hinchey who was absent.