BROOKLYN - Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Congress approved a bill designed to speed up passport processing which, means help is on the way for thousands of residents still waiting for their passports in the mail.

Schumer said the passport processing wait time has increased due to a State Department backlog. U.S. residents now need a passport to travel to countries like Canada, which has made the process slower.

The senator said his legislation allows the department to re-hire experienced retired passport processors, which he says will clear up the problem. He said Brooklyn and New York residents should still plan on traveling.

"If you have a business trip, honeymoon, vacation planned for August, don't despair. It looks like the backlog will be cleared up and cleared up quickly,? Schumer said.

He says the State Department will also refund Brooklyn residents who paid the $60 expedite fee to have their passport processed in two weeks.