For Republicans, requiring photo ID isn’t just for voting anymore. They like the concept so much they’re now expanding it to cover government benefits that low-income Americans rely on. In a growing number of states, and even in Washington, the GOP, citing fraud, is pushing laws that could deny needed benefits to those who are struggling, simply because they lack ID.n Studies suggest around 11% of Americans—including one in four African-Americans—don’t have a photo ID. Among those who receive government benefits, that number is almost certainly higher. North Carolina’s GOP-controlled legislature—which last year passed a voter ID requirement as part of the nation’s most restrictive voting law— advanced a bill Thursday that would make recipients of jobless benefits also show a photo ID. It’s expected to pass next week.
Since March, people getting unemployment insurance in the Tar Heel State have been required to come into a state job center to meet with a job placement counselor within four weeks of getting aid. At that meeting, they’ve also had to show photo ID. Now lawmakers are set to make the ID requirement official.
Helping lead the push for the law is Thom Tillis, the Speaker of the North Carolina House, who is challenging U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, a Democrat, in a race that could determine control of the Chamber this fall. Tillis also was a key backer of the state’s voter ID measure.
Imposing an ID requirement is just the latest stage in North Carolina’s effort to restrict jobless benefits. Last summer, the state cut off unemployment insurance for nearly 70,000 people, knowingly rejecting over $700 million in federal money that was meant to be used to extend benefits. Thanks to that rejection, another 100,000 lost benefits at the start of this year.
Full Article: Republicans take photo ID laws beyond voting | MSNBC.