Fiscal Year 2016 Legislation Aims to Streamline State Department Operations, Improve Embassy Security
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.), the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today applauded Senate passage of the first State Department authorization bill in 14 years. The 2016 U.S. Department of State authorization bill, which was approved unanimously by the committee in June of 2015, initiates various reforms to diplomacy programs and core operations of the State Department. The bill also includes embassy security provisions to improve protection of U.S. diplomatic facilities and foreign service personnel. Earlier today, the committee approved State Department authorization legislation for 2017.
“For the first time in 14 years, the Senate today approved a bipartisan State Department authorization bill that meets critical oversight responsibilities on behalf of taxpayers,” said Corker. “This legislation prioritizes security upgrades for U.S. personnel at high threat posts and lays the groundwork to streamline State Department operations and make them more effective. With enactment of this legislation and the bill that was reported out of committee earlier today, it is my hope that we will restore the annual practice of assuring the American people that funding for the State Department is being used responsibly to further U.S. interests.”
"This has been an important day for the Senate, the State Department and the American people,” said Cardin. “I join Chairman Corker in lauding this bipartisan achievement and in expressing hope that we return to a regular process of passing a State Department funding bill. Regular order would be a welcome addition to this important business, because the stakes for our foreign policy work are increasingly high. A fully authorized and functional State Department is a critical asset to U.S. national security."