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Bureau of Legislative Affairs

The Bureau of Legislative Affairs (H) coordinates legislative activity for the Department of State and advises the Secretary, the Deputy, as well as the Under Secretaries and Assistant Secretaries on legislative strategy. H facilitates effective communication between State Department officials and the Members of Congress and their staffs. H works closely with authorizing, appropriations, and oversight committees of the House and Senate, as well as with individual Members that have an interest in State Department or foreign policy issues. H manages Department testimony before House and Senate hearings, organizes Member and staff briefings, and facilitates Congressional travel to overseas posts for Members and staff throughout the year. H reviews proposed legislation and coordinates Statements of Administration Policy on legislation affecting the conduct of U.S. foreign policy. The H staff advises individual Bureaus of the Department on legislative and outreach strategies and coordinates those strategies with the Secretary's priorities.

The Secretary of State is the principal Congressional Relations Officer of the Department. H supports the Secretary by ensuring that the administration's foreign policy priorities are reflected throughout the legislative process. H coordinates the annual testimony provided by the Secretary to Congressional committees with jurisdiction over State programs to explain Department priorities and budget requirements. The bureau succeeds in its overall mission by seeking passage of relevant foreign policy legislation and appropriations, obtaining advice and consent to treaties, as well as confirmation of the President's Departmental and Ambassadorial nominees by the Senate.

The Assistant Secretary, advises the Secretary of State on legislative matters, directs the Bureau of Legislative Affairs, and acts as the Department's principal liaison with the Congress. Matthew Reynolds serves as the Assistant Secretary.

Contact Information:
Phone: (202) 647-4204
FAX: (202) 647-2762

U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Legislative Affairs
Washington, DC 20520

Current Events

Secretary Rice Meets with Quartet MembersDate: 12/15/2008 Location: New York City, NY Description: Secretary Rice with Quartet Members at the United Nations in New York City. © UN Photo
Secretary Rice in remarks with Quartet Members at the UN, New York, Dec. 15:  "I believe that if you look at the language of Annapolis, it says that the parties will make the best efforts that they can – they could to come to an agreement by the end of the year. I think they have made best efforts and they continue to make best efforts. And so what this resolution does is to urge, as the parties did with us and the Quartet when we were in Sharm el-Sheikh, the continuation of this process to the conclusion of a comprehensive agreement, and also within the context of a broader Israeli-Arab peace.”  Full Text | Quartet Press Statement | View Video



Somalia: Combating the Surge of PiracyDate: 12/16/2008 Location: New York City, NY Description: Secretary Rice at the United Nations Security Council meeting voting on a measure about Somalia and the recent piracy problem.  © AP Photo
Secretary Rice voting in favor of a draft resolution against piracy in the UN Security Council, New York, Dec. 16:  "With our meeting today and the resolution, we have sent a strong signal of commitment to combat the scourge of piracy. This current response is a good start, but we must do much more. ...We need to support regional states in building capacity to prosecute pirates effectively. And we need to work to build security and stability in Somalia so that the Somali people can finally enjoy the blessings of peace…."  Full Text | Comments on the Situation in Somalia | More


Weekly Newsletter, 12/22/08

FY 2009 Budget in Brief
The annual Function 150 (International Affairs Budget Request) Summary and Highlights provides an overview of the total funding requested in four appropriations bills for the programs and activities of the International Affairs budget. [PDF version; 2.2MB]; [Fact Sheet]

The Budget in Brief describes funding requested in one appropriations bill (that covering the Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Agencies) for the worldwide operations of the State Department and selected other international programs and activities.

U.S.-India Agreement
Date: 10/10/2008 Description: Secretary Rice with Indian Minister of External Affairs Pranab Mukherjee . State Dept PhotoSecretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Indian Minister of External Affairs Pranab Mukherjee to Sign the U.S.-India Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Agreement. [more]

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