Washington, D.C., July 10, 2023 – U.S. Senator Katie Britt (R-Ala.) recently joined Senator Rick Scott (R-Fla.) and 12 of their colleagues in a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken urging him to take immediate action to resolve the massive backlog of passport applications. In the letter, the Senators note countless reports from Americans in their respective states regarding issues and concerns with delayed wait times, lack of available in-person appointments, and an inability to communicate with passport agencies – which is an unacceptable failure from a federal government that should be focused on serving American taxpayers and their needs.
“Given the sheer number of Alabamians who have recently requested help with a passport issue, I’m concerned that action has not been taken sooner to address this concern, which clearly affects a great number of Alabamians,” said Senator Britt. “As record levels of Americans continue to book flights across the globe, we request this matter be dealt with immediately and transparently to prevent further backlog.”
Joining Senators Britt and Scott were U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), JD Vance (R-Ohio), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), and Deb Fischer (R-Neb.).
Read the full letter here and below.
Dear Secretary Blinken:
As summer begins and families across the nation are finalizing their travel plans, we have heard countless reports from constituents in our states about the massive backlogs in processing passport applications. While we appreciate the hard work of Passport Agency employees across the nation, this backlog and the unresponsiveness to many passport inquiries is unacceptable.
Since January 2023, our offices have observed a massive increase in passport related inquiries from our constituents. We understand that the Department of State is experiencing an unprecedented number of passport applications and renewals, but the strategies put in place to address this unprecedented demand appear to need additional attention.
These backlogs have resulted in many American families being forced to cancel their travel plans because of increased wait times, a lack of available in-person appointments and an inability to communicate with passport agencies. Furthermore, the delay many Americans are experiencing in receiving their passport could potentially be detrimental to their livelihood.
The Department of State must address these issues promptly to remedy the situation. As our offices continue to work each and every day to assist constituents with their passport needs, we are requesting answers to the following questions:
What measures are being taken to decrease processing and wait times?
How does the Department plan to resolve the communications issues?
How does the Department plan to permanently resolve these issues to avoid backlog in the future?
Families across the nation are dependent on a quick and efficient solution to the many issues and delays the Passport Agencies are experiencing. We look forward to hearing your solutions to this ongoing issue.