The Herald-News: Kinzinger backs bill aiming to address passport backlog during pandemic

U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger is supporting a bill aiming to address the backlog of passport processing created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kinzinger, R-Channahon, joined a number of his congressional colleagues in backing the Passport Backlog Elimination Act last week, according to a news release. The legislation would require the State Department to submit a plan to Congress to eliminate the backlog and require an audit by the inspector general.

Supporters of the legislation decried the backlog of about 1.4 million passport applications, as of early July, according to the release. They argued the backlog would undermine the economic recovery and national security.

“The backlog on passport processing is unacceptable, and the lack of information provided to the American people has been negligent,” Kinzinger said in the release. “I appreciate that steps have recently been taken to get things moving again, but as it stands, the problem remains severe.”

U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Virginia, the chairman of the House Subcommittee on Government Operations and sponsor of the bill, sent a letter to the State Department requesting a plan to reduce the backlog.

The U.S. State Department paused the passport application process and stopped taking new applications March 19. The legislators cited the State Department website, which warned that applicants will “experience significant delays of several months to receive your U.S. passport.”

 

The original article can be found on The Herald-News website here.