Press Release

January 18, 2022
Cardin, Hagerty Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Create Commission on State Department Modernization and Reform

Proposed commission would complement work already being done by their Foreign Relations Subcommittee

WASHINGTON — United States Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member and Chair respectively of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on State Department and USAID Management, International Operations, and Bilateral International Development, and Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) have introduced legislation that builds upon hearings held by the subcommittee last year and seeks to reform and modernize the Department of State in order to address the number of growing challenges with respect to U.S. diplomacy in the 21st century.

The bipartisan legislation would establish a commission that would examine the changing nature of diplomacy and development in the 21st century and ways that the Department of State can better modernize to advance the interests of the United States. The commission would offer comprehensive recommendations to reform the Department, including organizational structure, personnel-related matters, global diplomatic footprint, and the role of the State Department in the formulation and implementation of foreign policy. Members of the commission would be appointed by the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as well as from Senate and House leadership from both parties.

“As part of the broader effort to modernize the State Department that Senator Hagerty and I are embarked on, this proposal would create an independent commission of experts to provide additional insight and input,” said Senator Cardin. “The United States needs to elevate the effort to strengthen the systems that support the brave men and women in our diplomatic corps.”

“Establishing this commission is meant to complement the work that Senator Cardin and I are already doing to comprehensively modernize the State Department,” said Senator Hagerty. “The depth of challenges facing the United States abroad are constantly evolving and growing, yet the overall structure, diplomatic corps, and functions of the Department have gone vastly unchanged for decades. Ignoring this problem places our national security in jeopardy and emboldens our adversaries, which is why we must act now.”