The Foreign Service Journal, June 2018

54 JUNE 2018 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL Congress Comes Through for the Foreign Service AFSA ON THE HILL AFSA NEWS Writing this last column to you in something other than the conditional tense is cause for celebration. After months of continuing resolutions and debate over whether the Department of State and USAID would be cut by the 32 percent the administration proposed, or by some lesser amount, I can finally write in declarative sentences: • Congress appropriated $55.9 billion for the fiscal year 2018 international affairs bud- get. This is an increase of $2.1 billion (3.8 percent) compared to FY 17 (not including the supplemental funding of $5.3 billion approved to combat the Islamic State and provide famine relief). • The appropriations bill contains language that protects the Foreign Service. This includes setting a floor below which personnel cannot be cut, requiring State and USAID to provide reports justifying 2017 personnel cuts and detailing personnel required to implement the new National Security Strat- egy. Congress also tasked the Office of the Inspector General with reviewing the effects of the hiring freeze on operations and morale. • Congress prohibited the State Department from obli- gating funds to suspend, elimi- nate or downsize programs or offices without providing advance justification. • Congress approved the appropriations bill by votes of 265 to 167 in the House and 65 to 32 in the Senate. In so doing, Congress sent a strong message to the administration about the value of diplomacy and Congress’s determination to require transparency and to exercise its oversight. How did we go from a proposed 32 percent cut to a 3.8 percent increase? In my months on the Hill, I heard the same story over and over again, from Republicans and Democrats alike. They want America to win. They want America to lead. They know that America’s power comes from the com- bined punch of diplomacy, development, the military, our shared national values and the strength of our economy. They want to ensure that we have adequate personnel to achieve our foreign policy goals and that any changes make us stronger. What I saw on Capitol Hill I also see among my Foreign Service colleagues: patriots, united by love for the red, white and blue, for all this country stands for, and for a desire to serve the American people and preserve Ameri- ca’s global leadership. With this bill passed, it is time for me to leave advocacy to others at AFSA. I leave grateful for the opportunity to serve, grateful to my col- leagues at AFSA, to the board and the president, to the amazing U.S. Global Leader- ship Coalition and American College of National Security Leaders—and to you, our members. So many members of Congress think well of the Foreign Service because they have met you abroad and seen the work you do for this country. Thank you! n —Mary Daly, Director of Advocacy and Speechwriting AFSAGoverning Board Meeting, April 18, 2018 It was moved and seconded that before final- izing the AFSA Employee Handbook, the chief operating officer would seek input from the Management Committee, who would in turn present the Employee Hand- book to the Governing Board for approval. After a discus- sion, the motion was adopted by unanimous consent. On behalf of the Management Committee it was moved “to amend by substitution the motion adopted on July 19, 2017, creating the Management Committee.”After discus- sion, the fowllowing language was adopted: Authority and Responsibility of Management Committee Budget: Discuss the association’s budgetary priorities. Review and revise annual AFSA budget proposal. Present annual budget proposal to the GB for review and approval. Staff: Discuss staffing matters that impact core functions of the association. Serve as the reviewer of performance for AFSA staff members who report directly to the president or the State VP. SOPs: Discuss new and existing association SOPs. When necessary, bring SOPs to the GB for review and approval. Administration: Discuss matters and activities impacting the association’s ability to serve the interests of its members and the association. Bring to the GB, for review and approval, proposals on matters the MC deems important to the effi- cient and effective administration of the association. Member Interests: Discuss matters impacting the inter- ests and well-being of the association’s members, as defined in Article III, Sections 1–3 of the bylaws. Bring to the GB, for review and approval, proposals the MC deems important to the interests and well-being of the association’s members. n