Vehicle for State reauthorization leaves some policy goals behind

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Tucked into a just-passed Pentagon policy measure are numerous provisions that amount to the furthest lawmakers have gotten in two decades to fulfilling their State Department authorization duties.

The provisions would tweak and modernize various operations and processes at Foggy Bottom. Many of the State Department authorization provisions included in the fiscal 2022 National Defense Authorization Act are noncontroversial updates to the State Department’s management and personnel policies.

Those changes have been in the works for the last three Congresses, but lawmakers were unable to push them across the finish line due to the precarious position that State authorization matters occupy within the hierarchy of the Capitol Hill legislative ecosystem.

The bulk of the diplomacy provisions that Congress cleared this week were ones contained in a fiscal 2022 State authorization…

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