S.1635 – Department of State Operations Authorization and Embassy Security Act, Fiscal Year 2016

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Week ending December 9, 2016

S.1635 – Department of State Operations Authorization and Embassy Security Act, Fiscal Year 2016


S. 1635 would make several changes to Department of State operations. In total, CBO estimates that implementing the act would cost $37 million over the 2017-2021 period, assuming appropriation of the estimated amounts.

The bill is thorough in its intentions for the Department of State;

Contracts for Overseas Guards.
Section 112 would expand the department’s authority to take into account factors other than price in contracting for local guards at overseas posts that face significant security threats. The department would be authorized to use cost-technical trade off (CTTO) contracts that consider past performance, expertise, and other factors in addition to price. Under current law, in most cases the department must accept the lowest bid that meets all the technical security criteria for a post. In recent years, annual appropriations acts have provided limited authority to use CTTO contracts at high-threat posts. In 2014, the department used such authority to award a CTTO contract in Nigeria.
Fellowship Programs.
Section 706 would expand three existing fellowship programs by a total of 25 fellows each year. Existing fellows currently receive grants and stipends averaging $85,000 over a two-year period.
Rewards for Justice.
Section 704 would authorize the department to offer a reward for information that prevents, impedes, or ends war crimes, crimes against humanity, or genocide or that leads to the arrest or conviction of persons accused of those acts. The reward would be made under the terms and conditions of the department’s Rewards for Justice Program, which uses appropriated funds
to offer cash awards for information leading to the capture or conviction of certain terrorists and criminal s and for other related purposes.
 CBO estimates that implementing each of the following provisions alone would cost up to $500,000 a year; taken together, CBO estimates that implementing them would cost $9 million over the 2017-2021 period.
Section 114 would allow the department to pay for security enhancements at schools used by the children of U.S. diplomats posted overseas.
Sections 121 and 406 would require the department to implement various training programs for personnel.
Title III would require the department to report to the Congress on various aspects of United Nations peacekeeping programs.
Sections 404, 405, 407, and 412 would provide the department additional flexibility to hire staff or to pay bonuses to recruit, relocate, or retain staff.
Title VI would authorize a drug policy commission for the Western Hemisphere for a term of two years.
Section 702 would reauthorize the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy through 2020.
Section 703 would broaden the geographical area over which Radio Free Asia can broadcast.
Overseas Federal Facilities.
Section 119 would authorize the department to construct or improve overseas facilities for other federal entities. Payments received by the department would be retained and spent for embassy construction and maintenance.
Consular Immunities.
Section 501 would allow the department to extend consular immunities to foreign consular officials ona reciprocal basis, which could result in protections stronger or weaker than those provided in the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. Enactment of this provision could affect revenues and direct spending from customs duties, taxes on imports, visa fees, civil and criminal penalties, and judicial proceedings.
Fishermen’s Protection Fund.
Section 705 would extend the authorization for the Fishermen’s Protection Fund through 2018. That fund reimburses fishermen for certain financial losses incurred if their vessels are seized by a foreign nation. Owners of fishing vessels pay fees sufficient to cover the expected cost of those payments.

(Full text of S. 1635  at congress.gov)

Sponsor:  Sen. Corker, Bob [R-TN] (Introduced 06/18/2015)




On Passage: On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: (2/3 required): 374 – 16 (Roll no. 603). (text: CR H7160-7172)
House Amendments:

Motion to recommit:

Text of the motion:


On Passage:

Procedural Actions:

Senate Amendments:


Cost to the taxpayers:  Data not available

Pay-as-you-go requirements:  Data not available

Regulatory and Other Impact: Data not available

Dynamic Scoring:   Data not available

Tax Complexity:  Not applicable to this bill.

Earmark Certification:  Data not available

Duplication of programs: Data not available

Direct Rule-Making:  Data not available

Advisory Committee Statement: Data not available

Budget Authority: Data not available

Constitutional Authority:   Assumed.


More Bill Information:


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