Nunes Introduces Bill to Lengthen Diplomatic Foreign Service Tours
House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes has introduced a bill in the House of Representatives to extend the tour of duty of certain American officials serving abroad from 2 years to 4-6 years. The bill, the Foreign Service Optimization Act of 2016, would affect Foreign Service Officers, defense attachés, and civilian employees of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) serving in Defense Attaché Offices abroad. Additionally, Foreign Service Officers and DIA employees who received language training would be required to serve two consecutive tours to fully develop and utilize their language skills. The bill also allows for a waiver to the period of assignment for exigent circumstances.
“This is a simple but important corrective measure to ensure foreign service officers and defense attachés develop the local expertise and language skills needed to fulfill their mission,” said Chairman Nunes. “It’s also a crucial money-saving measure that enables the U.S. government to get the best return on its investments in foreign language training, and it will reduce the ever increasing costs of moving embassy employees every two years.”
The bill, H.R. 6271, is available here.