President Obama signed into law a short-term provision championed by Congresswoman Lois Frankel to help ensure Americans serving our country abroad have the security protection they deserve. Frankel is the lead Democrat on the Protecting Americans Abroad Act introduced by Republican Congressman Trey Radel, which would permanently give the State Department the tools and flexibility to hire the appropriate security staff who guard our United States Embassies.
The provision that Obama signed will authorize the State Department -- through the end of the fiscal year on September 30, 2013 -- to use the "Best-Value Contracting" award in dangerous and hostile areas when necessary. That means the State Department "can consider factors beyond price in making the award, such as technical approach and past performance, when the perceived benefit merits the additional cost." This provision would apply to contracts for security at embassies and specifically was requested by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in her testimony to the House Foreign Affairs Committee on which both Frankel and Radel serve.
"There is no question that in the wake of the tragedy in Benghazi that we must work to better protect Americans serving abroad at our United States embassies," Frankel said. "Americans abroad, especially those in hostile areas, deserve to have top-notch security, while courageously working in our embassies. I will continue to work with Congressman Radel in a bi-partisan fashion for a permanent solution."