For Immediate Release
CONTACT: Sue Walitsky 202-224-4524 or 202-320-0819 (cell)
August 1, 2013
CARDIN PRAISES COMMITTEE PASSAGE OF LEGISLATION TO PROTECT
AMERICAN PERSONNEL AT OVERSEAS EMBASSIES
Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, lauded committee passage of S. 1386, Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods, and Glen Doherty Embassy Security, Threat Mitigation, and Personnel Protection Act of 2013 as an opportunity to protect American foreign service officers serving our nation abroad by preventing future tragedies at embassies and consular locations.
“I am pleased that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee favorably reported S. 1386, the Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods, and Glen Doherty Embassy Security, Threat Mitigation, and Personnel Protection Act of 2013. This legislation honors the legacies of four American public servants who died during the terrorist attack on our facility in Benghazi, by making important reforms to better protect Americans who make tremendous sacrifices every day on behalf of our nation.
“As Chairman of both the East Asia subcommittee and the U.S. Helsinki Commission, I speak regularly with our Embassy personnel. Whether they are in Beijing or Ankara, our diplomats are eager for Congress to do our part to help ensure their safety. Armed only with their knowledge, courage, and dedication to our country, they are trained to help American citizens in crisis, to protect American interests, and to forge deeper, stronger ties with the citizens of the countries where they are serving. Today, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee worked in a bipartisan fashion to protect these dedicated public servants.
“But Congress cannot only act when threats present themselves—we must be proactive. That is why I am particularly pleased that the bill includes language I authored which will require the Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) to brief Congress on the Security Environment Threat List (SETL) each time it is updated. These briefings will give Congress more oversight over the Department of State’s embassy security prioritization process and will provide Members with an opportunity to regularly assess worrisome security trends and vulnerabilities at all threat levels. I look forward to full Senate consideration of the bill so that the President can sign it into law as soon as possible.”