June 02, 2023

Bush, Williams, and 193 Colleagues Seek Answers to Delays in Passport Applications


Washington, D.C. (Jun. 1, 2023) — Congresswoman Cori Bush (MO-01) joined 193 bipartisan members of the House of Representatives in a letter led by Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) asking the Department of State to account for the dramatic delays in processing passport applications. In this letter to Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs Rita Bitter, the Members posed questions about issues like the number of passport applications the State Department has received and processed, how the State Department will clear the backlog of passport applications, and what the State Department’s processing procedures are. 

These processing delays and subsequent influx of requests to Congressional offices cause added stress for our constituents around long-planned travel and sometimes require them to pay additional money for expedited processing and/or overnight shipping fees they otherwise would not have pursued. Meanwhile, Congressional offices are having to dedicate additional time and resources that could be devoted to other constituent service demands,” wrote the lawmakers. “We understand that passport processing challenges have coincided with the beta-test rollout of the Online Passport Renewal (OPR) system. We applaud the State Department’s efforts to streamline and improve response timing for our constituents seeking to renew their passports online, but questions remain regarding how the OPR system has been implemented, how this system was communicated to our constituents, and the level of oversight it has received from the State Department.

A copy of the letter can be found HERE.

As Congresswoman Bush continues to push for answers to these delays, constituents in Missouri's First Congressional District are encouraged to reach out to the Congresswoman’s District Office with any questions or concerns regarding their passport processing. Constituents can do so by visiting our website - bush.house.gov - and completing a privacy release form