Merkley, Van Hollen Introduce Resolution Emphasizing Need for Nonpartisan Foreign Service

Washington, D.C. – Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley today joined Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) to announce a new resolution to reaffirm the importance of nonpartisanship in the Foreign Service of the United States.

Senator Merkley serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Senator Van Hollen is Co-Chair of the bipartisan Senate Foreign Service Caucus.

The Senators’ resolution stresses that members of the Foreign Service deserve the strong support of the American public, and condemns political retaliation against them.

“For nearly a century, America’s Foreign Service members have made great sacrifices and traveled many miles from our shores to make essential contributions to our national security and foreign policy—promoting critical partnerships and advancing U.S. interests around the world,” said Merkley. “This resolution sends an important message: that the work of our Foreign Service is dependent on its ability to put country over party, and must remain nonpolitical.”

“Every day our foreign service officers protect and advance America’s interests around the world,” said Van Hollen. “The success of our foreign and national security policy requires that these patriotic men and women can serve their country from one administration to the next free of political and partisan cronyism. I’m proud to join Senator Merkley to introduce this resolution to reinforce that important principle, and as Co-Chair of the bipartisan Foreign Service Caucus, I will continue working to support our foreign service officers and all State Department employees in their critical mission for our country.”

Since 1924, members of the Foreign Service have brought invaluable knowledge and expertise to American foreign policy, helping to promote peace and stability, and giving the United States a competitive advantage in advancing critical interests. Today, about 16,000 Foreign Service members in 276 locations around the world and our nation’s capital are dedicating their careers to building critical partnerships and advancing U.S. interests around the world.

Throughout their careers, members of the Foreign Service often serve in extreme hardship and difficult security situations—circumstances that have, in tragic cases, cost lives.

“As the voice of the Foreign Service, the American Foreign Service Association applauds this timely reminder to our fellow Americans of the critical, non-partisan service of our diplomats around the world,” said Eric Rubin, President of the American Foreign Service Association. “We appreciate the support of all those who have come forward to sponsor and cosponsor this resolution.”

The resolution is cosponsored by Senators Chris Coons (D-DE), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kamala D. Harris (D-CA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Edward J. Markey (D-MA).

The full text of the resolution is available here.