WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) and Ranking Member Dick Lugar (R-IN) today introduced comprehensive bi-partisan legislation that will provide authority, policy guidance, and operational oversight to the State Department.
The Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011 supports provisions to improve the State Department’s public diplomacy mission and to increase the foreign service officer capacity. It will also significantly increase the inspector general’s oversight abilities, address extending comparability pay adjustments to members of the Foreign Service, and provide enhancements to consular services.
“If the first decade of the twenty-first century taught us anything about national security, it is that we require more than a strong military to meet our global challenges – diplomacy is an essential element of our national power. This legislation demonstrates our bipartisan commitment to building the civilian capacity necessary to accomplish our nation’s foreign policy objectives. This is precisely the moment when our investment in diplomacy is most needed and this bill provides our diplomatic corps with essential tools, authorities and resources to succeed in the tough jobs we continually require of them. The last time a State Department authorization bill was passed was in 2002, we believe it’s the right time for the Committee to consider this important piece of legislation,” said Chairman Kerry.
“Our diplomatic corps is on the front lines of our national security efforts. Whether protecting our nation by combating terrorism, helping American companies find new markets overseas, or assisting American citizens during natural disasters, these men and women help make our country stronger and safer. At the same time, they provide much needed assistance to train foreign police forces, treat HIV/AIDS patients in nations with dire needs, promote press and internet freedoms in repressive regimes and facilitate international adoptions. This bill continues the Committee’s long-standing tradition of providing the State Department, the US Agency for International Development and US Broadcasting entities with the needed tools and personnel to address the ever-changing challenges they face,” said Ranking Member Lugar.
Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011 would:
Modernize the State Department and Build the Capacity of U.S. Diplomacy:
Increase Accountability of Our Diplomatic and Development Programs:
Strengthen U.S. Public Diplomacy
Reform Refugee, Visa, and Passport Processing
Renew Commitment to International Organizations and Related Provisions
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