Sam Graves-Making Travel Easier

June 24, 2024

Dear Friend,

Few things in life are more frustrating than waiting on bureaucrats—especially when you’re waiting on a passport, and you have a well-earned vacation coming up.

Getting a passport has always been a slow, burdensome process, but things have just gotten worse over the last couple of years. Nearly every day, we’re getting multiple calls from folks in a panic because they still haven’t gotten their passports. They’re afraid they’ll have to cancel their trip set to start the next morning, even though they submitted everything correctly months ago.

These delays are blamed on everything from staffing to remote work schedules to COVID-19, but whatever the cause, they’re frustrating, and they need to be fixed. My team has worked tirelessly, routing as many folks as they could to Passport Agencies around the country to get an appointment, get their passport, and get their trip underway. While a last-minute drive to El Paso seems ridiculous, sometimes that was the only option. It shouldn’t ever be that way.

That’s one of the many reasons I supported last year’s defense bill, which required the State Department to develop a plan to provide urgent in-person passport services for Americans who live more than 5 hours from the nearest passport agency. That included Kansas City, which has now been chosen as a new U.S. Passport Agency location.

Now, if an in-person appointment is needed, Kansas City will be an option in the future instead of driving to Chicago or Arkansas. It will be one of six new locations across the country. Not only will this help cut wait times, but having additional agency locations will hopefully cut down on the last-minute, long-distance drives for urgent passport services.

There’s no doubt we’ve endured some nightmares with government agencies over the last several years. Certainly, some persist. However, I’m pleased that, at the direction of Congress, the U.S. Passport Agency has heard our concerns and recognized the hardship that many have faced. I look forward to this new Kansas City location opening and hope this solves the problem. That said, if you ever need help with a passport, or any other agency not getting the job done for you, please remember that my offices are always here to assist you.


Sam Graves