Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, applauded the approval Tuesday of the first Foreign Affairs authorization bill to pass the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in five years. The legislation outlines new policies and a budget for U.S. State Department, Peace Corps, and Broadcasting Board of Governors.
“Strengthening our national security, increasing our smart power and reducing global poverty require a strong State Department willing and able to act around the world every day and in times of crisis. I am gratified that we were able to maintain development and diplomacy programs at the core of this bill. This legislation also recognizes that people are at the heart of how our nation is represented to the world by authorizing investments in an additional 1,100 Foreign Service Officers at State and USAID over the next two fiscal years. It also allows the successful Millennium Challenge Corporation to undertake longer-term projects with partner countries, and it expands the role of the USAID Administrator to engage with the American public about the role of foreign assistance.
“Experts and practitioners of foreign policy and national security almost universally agree that the U.S. must simultaneously bolster diplomacy, development and defense if we are to continue to make America and the world more secure. This bill is a positive step toward that goal. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the full Senate to quickly pass this important piece of legislation.
“I am particularly proud that this bill codifies the State Department’s Office for Global Women’s Issues, headed by an Ambassador-at-Large, to strengthen efforts to promote gender integration and participation in economic, social and legal spheres, and to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls. I worked hard with my colleagues to ensure that this office, which develops concrete solutions to gender disparities, would be codified in the law.”