There is still a hiring freeze in the State Department and it’s having an especially detrimental effect on embassies and consulates because there is very high turnover in a large number of positions at overseas posts. This has many negative repercussions in different areas, from medical services to visa issuance to management issues.
Also, a report is due to the White House by the end of the month outlining the State Department restructuring. It is concerning that this report is being created when so few upper-level department positions have been filled. Tillerson has no foreign policy experience and doesn’t seem to have experienced advisers. Congress has already expressed dismay that the administration is ignoring Congressional intent in some State Department matters.
Over the next few days, please write or call your MoCs (House and Senate) to let them know if you are concerned about this. You can also contact the members of the House and Senate foreign affairs/relations committees and the new Senate Foreign Service Caucus. Ask them to look into the reasons behind the hiring freeze and to make sure the administration is meeting its obligations under US law. Tell them the State Department needs the support of Congress to do its job well.
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