Last year, under the direction of House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman (D-CA), the House passed a similar bill (H.R. 2410). Should a final bill make it out of the Senate, it would be the first time since 2002 Congress has passed a State Department authorization bill.
In expressing their support for America’s diplomatic and development programs, Chairman Kerry stated, “If the first decade of the twenty-first century taught us anything about national security, it is that we require more than a strong military to meet our global challenges – diplomacy is an essential element of our national power.” Ranking Member Lugar noted, “Whether protecting our nation by combating terrorism, helping American companies find new markets overseas, or assisting American citizens during natural disasters, these men and women help make our country stronger and safer.”
In a press release, both Kerry and Lugar outlined the key components of the State Authorization bill. Highlights include: