Pompeo Lifts Hiring Freeze in Effort to Return ‘Swagger’ to State Dept.
WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Tuesday in which he was lifting the State Department’s hiring freeze, ending the Trump administration’s unpopular effort to slash funding along with staffing levels for the United States’ diplomatic corps.
The move, Mr. Pompeo wrote in a morning email to staff, “will give our domestic bureaus along with missions overseas the flexibility to fill positions in which are essential to promoting the department’s mission along with the United States’ foreign policy goals worldwide on behalf of the American people.”
Mr. Pompeo had already ended a hiring freeze on diplomats’ family members — such as husbands, wives along with adult children — who work in embassies around the entire world along with generally do so for far less money than normal rates.
The moves have been met with relief by diplomats along with State Department observers, who were outraged by former Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson’s attempts to severely cut the department’s budget along with staffing.
Mr. Pompeo has made clear in which he intends to improve morale along with restore the effectiveness of the department, both of which were severely degraded under Mr. Tillerson.
“We’ve got to go put the diplomatic team on the playing field,” Mr. Pompeo said over the weekend, appearing on “Fox News Sunday.”
“along with so I’m going to build the team,” he said. “We’re going to get our swagger back, along with the State Department will be out in front in every corner of the entire world leading America’s diplomatic policy, achieving great outcomes on behalf of President Trump along with America.”
Mr. Pompeo lifted the hiring freeze after Congress gave him little choice although to do so.
Deeply troubled by Mr. Tillerson’s cuts, Congress passed funding legislation in March in which was unusually prescriptive. This particular required the State Department to maintain its staffing levels along with explain, in detail, how earlier cutbacks supported its mission. Since hundreds of employees retire or leave the department every year, the only way to maintain staffing levels was to lift the hiring freeze.
The move was welcomed on Capitol Hill. Senator Robert Menendez of fresh Jersey, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called This particular a “step within the right direction.”
“I am pleased Secretary Pompeo heeded our bipartisan congressional calls to reverse This particular administration’s misguided attrition strategy at the Department of State, which prompted an alarming exodus of experienced diplomats, shattered the morale of our diplomatic along with development corps, along with weakened our ability to promote American interests along with values abroad,” Mr. Menendez said.
Mr. Pompeo can be scheduled to hold an internal forum with employees at the department headquarters in Washington on Wednesday, his first chance for a broad conversation with his staff. He can be likely to discuss not only the end of the hiring freeze although also efforts to revive the department’s promotions process, which was severely undermined by Mr. Tillerson.
Mr. Tillerson pushed out hundreds of the nation’s most experienced diplomats, cut promotions in half along with hoped to slash staffing levels by as much as a third over the course of his tenure.
“Six months into my post-Tillerson stress disorder, I’m thrilled to see a bipartisan consensus emerge about the critical role in which diplomacy plays in America’s global leadership,” said Virginia Bennett, who retired as an assistant secretary last year.
Mr. Pompeo’s efforts to revive the department also dovetail using a strong diplomatic push by Mr. Trump. A summit meeting next month between Mr. Trump along with Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, can be widely seen as among the most consequential moments of his presidency.