March 18, 2021

Risch Introduces Legislation to Improve State Department’s Outdated Investigation Process

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, yesterday introduced the Diplomatic Support and Security Act, legislation to update the State Department’s review process for attacks on U.S. personnel or properties for the first time in 35 years.

“For years, my staff and I have heard how difficult it is for U.S. diplomats to get outside of our embassies abroad to meet with locals and advance America’s interests. I assure you, Chinese, Russian, and Iranian diplomats do not have these issues,” said Risch. “I’m proud to introduce legislation today to improve the process for investigating security incidents abroad so that the Department’s diplomats can safely do their jobs – promote U.S. interests with host countries and engage local populations with appropriate protection.”

Background:

The current investigative process dates to 1986 following the Beirut bombings, and essentially duplicates investigations already conducted by federal law enforcement officers at the State Department. The current process creates unnecessary burdens on Department personnel that hamper the work of our diplomats in conflict-ridden areas.

Text of the Diplomatic Support and Security Act can be found here.

###