Rep. Bera Releases Legislation to Strengthen State Department Diplomacy
Bill would require at least 70 percent of Ambassador appointments be from career Foreign Service and Civil Service ranks
WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Ami Bera, M.D. (D-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, today released the Strengthening Traditional American Diplomacy Act (STAND Act) which would require that at least 70 percent of ambassador appointments come from career Foreign Service and Civil Service ranks of the Department of State.
“Under this Administration, a record number of Ambassador positions have been filled by political appointees. While it’s true that some political appointees have a wealth of professional experience that contributes to our nation, many individuals have little to no prior diplomatic experience,” said Rep. Bera. “During a time of increasing complex global challenges and national security threats facing the United States, we must have our most qualified and experienced public servants representing the US around the world.”
Rep. Bera continued: “I have been deeply troubled by reports of the Administration sidelining State Department policy experts on critical national security issues and retaliating against career employees. Career diplomats dedicate their lives to serving the American people and government both home and abroad. They serve on the frontlines of American diplomacy, helping mitigate and prevent some of our country’s most pressing foreign policy issues. We must send a strong signal to our diplomats that they are valued, and that starts with retaining and promoting our best and brightest public servants.”
Currently, 45% of the Administration’s ambassadors are political appointees, compared to 30% under the Obama Administration, 32% under the Bush Administration, and 28% under the Clinton Administration.
The House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations has oversight jurisdiction of the State Department and its personnel.