"They went to work. In meetings and telephone conversations with Senate staff, they spun the story that REAL ID was not going away. The “political reality,” they said, was that there was going to be a national ID program. The responsible thing to do, then, was to round down REAL ID’s sharpest edges - and free up those federal funds.
In exchange, the state lobby groups would wear down opposition from the nation’s governors and legislatures. If they could broker the sale of state authority over driver licensing to the federal government, they would lock in their role as lobbyists for the states on that issue." - Jim Harper for The CATO Institute
More on this damning report here: http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/2009/06/18/the-politics-of-the-real-id-revival-bill/