Congressman Max Miller Co-leads Bipartisan Push to Modernize Federal Passport Services

Sep 01, 2023
Government
Press

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to unprecedented passport processing delays at the Department of State, Congressman Max Miller (OH-07) recently joined a group of his colleagues to introduce the bipartisan Passport Modernization Act. Since January, Congressman Miller’s office has received a significant number of requests for assistance with obtaining passports in a timely manner and has resolved over 200 passport-related cases for residents of Ohio’s 7th Congressional District. To address lengthy delays, this bill will make the passport application process easier and more efficient.

The State Department is experiencing a post-pandemic passport application surge, with a nearly 40% increase in passport application requests since 2022. This boom is 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.

“Every single day, my team and I speak with frustrated Ohioans who are dealing with unreasonable passport delays. With the State Department’s current capabilities, vital passport services are failing the American people. Incremental reform is necessary to give passport applicants the timeliness they deserve. The Passport Modernization Act will help to make sure the State Department can accomplish that goal,” said Congressman Miller.

Specifically, the Passport Modernization Act 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.

Additional co-sponsors include: Reps. Earl L. Carter (R-GA), Zach Nunn (R-IA), Cory Mills (R-FL), 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.

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