While chiefly focused on border security and immigration issues, H.R. 418, the REAL ID Act of 2005, would also give the Secretary of Homeland Security authority to waive any federal or state law in building roads, walls, fences and other barriers along U.S. borders. In addition to jeopardizing a wide array of protected federal lands, the waiver provision would deny citizens the right to appeal. Representative Sam Farr (D-CA) introduced an amendment to strip the waiver provision from H.R. 418. On February 10, 2005, House Amendment 9 was defeated by a 179-243 vote (House roll call vote 29). YES is the pro-environmental vote.
After passing the House, the bill was appended to a supplemental defense appropriations bill. In House-Senate conference, the waiver provision was amended to allow constitutional challenges and to require the publishing of all waivers in the Federal Register. President Bush signed the bill into law on May 11, 2005.