Washington, DC—Today, Representatives Gregory W. Meeks and Michael McCaul, Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement in response to the House of Representatives’ passage the Department of State Authorization Act of 2021:
“It has been nearly two decades since Congress last passed a comprehensive authorizing bill for the State Department. To ensure that our diplomatic workforce has the tools and support it needs to meet the challenges of our rapidly changing global landscape, Congress must rise to the challenge and resume regular authorizing of the State Department. By passing this bipartisan legislation in the House today, we are one step closer to reclaiming our proper budgetary and oversight role, and reinvigorating the State Department with resources and authorities to help America lead and build lasting relationships around the world. We are hopeful that this bill will be taken up swiftly in the Senate and signed into law by the President.“
Background: H.R. 1157 contains provisions to strengthen the management and operations of the State Department, including to recruit and retain a diverse workforce, bolster embassy and information security, improve flexibility, training, and other workplace policies for personnel, and strengthen the Department’s public diplomacy and anti-corruption activities, among other provisions. The bill authorizes activities and positions in a number of key Department bureaus and offices, and authorizes funding for Diplomatic Programs and Embassy Security, Construction, and Maintenance.
A section-by-section summary of the bill can be found here.