State and Foreign Operations Bill Restricts Funding for State Department’s Security Training Center

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement regarding language in the FY2016 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill that restricts funding for the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Security Training Center (FAST-C) unless that facility is specifically authorized by the Committee:

“I commend Chairwoman Granger’s legislative recognition that the State Department’s plans for a new diplomatic security training facility need more scrutiny.  Last week, I subpoenaed the OMB for documents and communications underlying the Administration’s decision to build a new Foreign Affairs Security Training Center in Virginia, instead of utilizing expanding existing facilities in Georgia.  OMB's own calculations appear to suggest that constructing a brand new facility at the Virginia site could cost hundreds of millions more upfront, and nearly a half-billion more in the long-run.  Congress cannot be expected to authorize such Administration requests without full access to the facts.  In an increasingly dangerous world, the security of U.S. diplomats abroad is paramount.  We must ensure that our diplomats receive improved security training, and a big part of providing that training effectively is making the most of our limited resources.”

Note: For more detail on the issue, click HERE.  On May 28, Chairman Royce issued a subpoena to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).  The subpoena compels OMB to provide the Committee with critical information it has sought over a year concerning the State Department’s plan to construct a Foreign Affairs Security Training Center (FAST-C) in Blackstone, Virginia.  OMB failed to comply with the subpoena’s deadline, which was June 2, at 5:00 p.m.