JANESVILLE, WISCONSIN—Bryan Steil urged the State Department to immediately address the backlog in U.S. passport applications. Numerous constituents of Wisconsin’s First Congressional District have reached out to Steil regarding delayed passport applications due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. There is a nationwide backlog of 1.6 million passport applications.

“The State Department must provide transparency and a plan to address this bureaucratic nightmare. The continued delays, growing backlog, and lack of communication from the State Department has real-world consequences on families in Southeast Wisconsin and across the nation. I will continue working to ensure the federal government fixes this problem and provides clear communication to families awaiting answers,” said Steil.

In part, Steil and co-signers write: “While we are in the midst of an unprecedented health crisis, government agencies must ensure that non-COVID-19 work is completed in a timely fashion to better prepare for an economic recovery once conditions improve. The department rightfully issues travel advisories to inform American citizens of conditions oversees, and international travel remains inadvisable for many individuals. However, a backlog of this magnitude is unsustainable and has very real implications for our economic recovery as parts of the country begin to reopen.”

You can read a copy of the letter Steil co-authored to the State Department here.

On Background:

Constituents in the First District have reached out to Steil regarding their delayed passports. Delayed passports could result in cancelled or postponed travel and financial losses for families. Steil will continue working on the constituents’ behalf and urges others who find themselves in a similar situation to reach out to our office.

The State Department stopped processing passport applications on March 19, 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The applications of 1.6 million Americans have not been processed as a result, leaving many applicants confused and wondering when they will receive their passport.

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