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Providing for Extensions of Certain Authorities of the Department of State

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Location: Washington, DC


PROVIDING FOR EXTENSIONS OF CERTAIN AUTHORITIES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE -- (House of Representatives - July 30, 2008)

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Mr. CHABOT. I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Madam Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 6456, which provides stopgap extensions of certain important State Department and broadcasting authorities until the Committee on Foreign Affairs can take them up as part of a comprehensive authorization during the 111th Congress.

In response to administration requests, this brief bill does a number of things. It extends for another year the State Department's authority to hire retired Foreign Service officers for difficult-to-staff posts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to address visa and passport processing backlogs.

It also extends authorities for Radio Free Asia, and for emergency broadcasting needs in the International Broadcasting Bureau and the Voice of America. It also makes clear that the State Department may pay the hotel expenses of its special agents on protective details in situations where agents are required to remain with their protectees overnight, even when that duty occurs in the agent's home locale.

Finally, it incorporates the text of H.R. 3658, the House-passed bill introduced by the gentleman from Puerto Rico (Mr. Fortuño) to allow U.S. Foreign Service officers to take their rest and recuperative travel in U.S. territories. I urge support for this measure.

I reserve the balance of my time.

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