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Carter leads bipartisan push to modernize federal passport services

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to unprecedented passport processing delays at the Department of State, Rep. Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R-GA) today introduced the bipartisan Passport Modernization Act, a bill to make the passport application process easier and more efficient.

The State Department is experiencing a post-pandemic travel surge, with a nearly 40% increase in passport application requests since 2022. This boom is overwhelming both State Department and congressional resources, causing unworkable and frustrating delays for travelers. The
Passport Modernization Act will enable the State Department to better serve the American people by increasing staff, updating the online passport system, and increasing congressional oversight.

“Despite their best efforts, the State Department is failing to meet the American people’s passport needs. After a series of meetings, congressional hearings, and oversight letters, it is clear that fundamental reform is necessary to ensure that passport applicants have the communication, certainty, and timeliness they deserve. This bill accomplishes this goal by giving the State Department necessary resources and strengthening oversight of this vital responsibility,”
said Rep. Carter.

Specifically, this bill will:

  • Provide Special Hiring Authority to the Secretary of State to hire exclusively Passport and Visa Examining Series (GSA Code 0967) for three years.
  • Require the Secretary to provide quarterly reports on processing times, delays and methods that are being used to eradicate the backlog.
  • Require the Department of State to modernize the online passport filing system. 
  • Require the GAO to conduct a report on National Passport Information Center operations.

Co-sponsors include: Reps. Zach Nunn (R-IA), Cory Mills (R-FL), Max Miller (R-OH), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Dina Titus (D-NV), Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-OR), Daniel Webster (R-FL), Maria Salazar (R-FL), Seth Moulton (D-MA), and Susie Lee (D-NV).

Read the full bill text here.