None of the gross budget numbers that I discussed in my earlier blog on the introduction of HR 2017 have changed. There are no indications of changes to any of the program budget numbers identified in that blog as coming from the Committee Report on the bill.
As I noted on the first day of the debate there was an amendment to the bill passed that would affect the operation of the TWIC program. That amendment is now §704 of the bill. It reads:
“None of the funds made available under this Act may be used to require an approved Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) applicant to personally appear at a designated enrollment center for the purpose of TWIC issuance, renewal, or activation.”If this provision remains in the final version of the budget, this could have a significant on the operation of the TWIC program. The whole point of the TWIC program is that there has been a biometric confirmation of the identity of the holder of the card. This is going to be difficult to achieve when the applicant for the TWIC cannot be required to show up at the issuing facility at some point in the issuing process. This will certainly require changes in the TWIC procedures and probably the TWIC regulations.
I discussed this issue in more detail in my blog on the GAO report on potential requirements to mail TWIC to approved applicants.