House passes New Democrat Coalition-led amendment to strengthen State Department mission

AUGUSTA FREE PRESS

The House of Representatives has passed a New Democrat Coalition-led amendment in H.R. 2740, the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Legislative Branch, Defense, State, Foreign Operations, and Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, 2020.

The National Security Task Force Co-Chairs, led by Rep. Abigail Spanberger (VA-07) and co-sponsored by Reps. Brad Schneider (IL-10), Anthony Brown (MD-04), and Brendan Boyle (PA-02), offered an amendment to act upon and expand a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study on the impact of personnel vacancies at the Department of State on our country’s national security and foreign policy objects.

“Persistent vacancies at U.S. embassies and consulates around the world undermine the effectiveness of U.S. diplomatic efforts and can jeopardize our national security priorities. By failing to fill these critical positions, particularly among senior political appointees, we are significantly reducing our ability to respond to emerging crises and reducing U.S. leadership and engagement with key allies and partners,” said National Security Task Force Co-Chair Abigail Spanberger (VA-07). “We must demonstrate our support for Foreign Service and civil service personnel as they advance our interests abroad—and I’m proud to stand alongside my co-chairs on the New Democrat Coalition National Security Task Force as we introduce our amendment to encourage the State Department to assess critical vacancies. By filling vacancies, we can better protect American lives, further promote American values overseas, and continue to address the factors that fuel instability and violence around the world. As a former CIA case officer, I recognize the invaluable contributions of these dedicated public servants—and I’ll keep fighting to reassert the need for principled U.S. global leadership.”

Through the Department of State, the U.S. expands the reach of democratic values, the rule of law, economic prosperity, and stability around the world, advancing U.S. national security interests and foreign policy objectives. Failure to fill key roles at the State Department is a disservice to our country, to the individuals who risk their lives to in support of that mission, and to the taxpayers who expect us to represent and defend them and their interests, at home and abroad.

The purpose of the amendment is to encourage the Department of State to implement recommendations of the Government Accountability Office study GAO-19-220, which found that the Foreign Service vacancies at the Department of State may undermine U.S. foreign policy objectives and increase national security risks. We believe the GAO should also expand the study to include the impact of vacancies in senior leadership and politically appointed position at the Department of State on the United States’ ability to meet its foreign policy, diplomacy, aid, and national security priorities and objectives.

 

Recent Posts


Feb 28, 2024
Infrastructure

Spanberger Leads Virginia Lawmakers in Working to Protect $30 Internet Discount for Virginia Families, Fund Affordable Connectivity Program

The “Affordable Connectivity Program” Right Now Helps More than 455,000 Virginia Households Afford High-Speed Internet WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today led members of the Virginia congressional delegation in a bipartisan effort urging the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations to extend funding for a key discount program that allows more Virginia families to […]



Feb 26, 2024
Womens' Issues

In Wake of Alabama Supreme Court Ruling, Spanberger Joins Bipartisan, Bicameral Effort to Protect Access to IVF

Congresswoman: “This Ruling Sets a Dangerous Precedent” WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today backed bipartisan legislation to protect every American’s right to access in-vitro fertilization (IVF) following the Alabama Supreme Court’s ruling that frozen embryos are children under the law. On February 16, 2024, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos — […]



Spanberger, Valadao Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Strengthen U.S. Voting Systems Against Foreign Attacks

U.S. Senate Version is Led by U.S. Senators Mark Warner & Susan Collins WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representatives Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07) and David Valadao (R-CA-22) today introduced bipartisan legislation to strengthen the security of U.S. election infrastructure by requiring that voting systems undergo simulated attacks as part of their standard certification process. Given ongoing attempts […]