WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations and Appropriations Committees, released a statement on Tuesday after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that he is lifting the Department of State’s hiring freeze on Foreign Service and Civil Service employees and authorizing the Department to hire to current funding levels.
“I’ve said from the very beginning that President Trump’s State Department hiring freeze was entirely counterproductive. It was a botched plan that reduced our influence overseas and seriously compromised our national security. It didn’t put America first and it didn’t make us any safer,” said Murphy. “The United States cannot protect ourselves against foreign threats without diplomats, so I’m glad that Secretary Pompeo is lifting the hiring freeze. Utilizing every part of our foreign policy toolkit – both military and diplomatic – is the only smart way to forge a world that is safe for Americans. I hope the Secretary’s next move will be to fight for a budget that reflects this reality.”
Murphy is the author of “Rethinking the Battlefield,” a comprehensive proposal containing specific recommendations to dramatically increase the United States’ non-military footprint abroad by nearly doubling the U.S. foreign affairs budget – including the State Department and USAID – with an emphasis on funding for international development and humanitarian relief. He has blasted the Trump administration’s proposal to cut State Department funding and their strategy to call for an aggressive and confrontational military and economic approach, while virtually ignoring foreign assistance, diplomacy, and development programs.
Last year, after a New York Times investigation revealed that the U.S. Department of State will offer buyouts as part of an effort to reduce the agency’s national security workforce by nearly 2,000 employees, Murphy sent a letter to former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson requesting an immediate explanation for these actions, calling them “short-sighted and dangerous,” especially considering the complex national security issues our country faces today.