USA: Bush administration under pressure over travel rule

The public and various US lawmakers are clamoring for changes to the Bush administration’s controversial Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI). This comes as news of the United States Department of Homeland Security recently implemented some changes to the travel rule because of a huge backlog in passport applications.Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee and the full House unanimously voted to delay implementation of WHTI anytime before June 2009. The full Senate must now vote and is expected to consider the rule’s delay in coming weeks.This action comes after the Bush administration announced earlier this month it will delay the air requirements of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative due to extensive delays in processing passport applications. US citizens are now allowed to travel by air with a government issued photo identification and Department of State official proof of application for a passport now through Sept. 30, 2007.Meanwhile, the National Tour Association (NTA) has said it believes the requirements of the WHTI should not take effect until June 2009 at the earliest, as supported by legislation currently in Congress.Source: eTurboNews; full article available here.

Leave a Comment