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Dems Demand Tillerson Explain Changes at State, End Hiring Freeze

Image: Dems Demand Tillerson Explain Changes at State, End Hiring Freeze
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (Th Monasse/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 06 Dec 2017 12:53 PM

Ten Democratic members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee sent a letter on Wednesday demanding that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson halt a hiring freeze at the State Department and explain his plan to restructure the agency to Congress, The Hill reported.

In the letter, the senators criticized Tillerson for making the changes "largely behind closed doors."

Tillerson has left multiple key positions unfilled since becoming secretary and career diplomats have departed in large numbers, while those who remain report low morale and the lack of a clear mission.

Tillerson has recently outlined his intention to develop talent within the agency and to modernize the way the department operates, reassuring embassy staffers that all changes were employee-led and would be announced in the next couple of weeks, according to CNN.

But the letter from the senators said that the redesign of the department is taking place "without the level of transparency we would expect," adding that "proposals that have come to light lead us to question whether the intended result is in fact a more efficient department that continues to serve the interests of the American people and promote our foreign policy objectives abroad."

The senators wrote that leaving so many positions in the department unfulfilled is deeply troubling and that "we think that attrition as a strategy for managing a workforce is problematic, because it does not allow management to control for the skills, experience, and workforces that it actually needs."

They committee members also warned that "When dealing with national security, the potential costs of such a mismatch can be fatal."

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Ten Democratic members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee sent a letter on Wednesday demanding that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson halt a hiring freeze at the State Department and explain his plan to restructure the agency to Congress, The Hill reported.
democrats, letter, rex tillerson
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2017-53-06
Wednesday, 06 Dec 2017 12:53 PM
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