State Department's plan for staff cuts causing new worry in Congress

The Washington Post: A growing, bipartisan number of lawmakers are expressing alarm over anticipated personnel cuts at the State Department, saying they have contributed to plummeting morale and will undermine diplomacy and foreign policy for years to come.

In the latest example, Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) urged Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday to lift a hiring freeze and promote experienced Foreign Service officers, requesting in a letter more details about Tillerson’s reorganization plan.

Citing reports of declining morale, recruitment and retention levels, the senators wrote that “America’s diplomatic power is being weakened internally as complex, global crises are growing externally.” Tillerson’s management decisions, they say, “threaten to undermine the long-term health and effectiveness of American diplomacy.”

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