By Javier Manjarres
Many unanswered questions still remain about the failed security measures the State Department employed at its Benghazi consulate prior to the September 11th attack that left four Americans dead. Freshman Congressman Trey Radel, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee has introduced his first bill- the Protecting Americans Abroad Act that would assist the State Department to employ its budget “more efficiently to better protect Americans abroad.”
As some may remember, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton specifically requested for Congress to author legislation similar to this bill during her hearings before Congress on Benghazi attack.
According to Radel’s office, “the State Department is mandated to utilize the cheapest, most inexpensive security available in some of the most dangerous parts of the world, and authorize the State Department to use the “Best-Value Contracting” award method in high-risk areas to ensure the safety of American men and women serving our country abroad.” Supporters of the bill claim that the legislation does not use any additional tax dollars on top of those that have already been allocated to the State Department.
Apparently, this “Best-Value Contracting” practice is currently being employed in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan but the practice expires at end of March. Radel’s bill will essentially extend this contracting method to other areas that are deemed “high threat” as is Benghazi-
The staff that serve us abroad are often present and needed most in unstable and hostile regions where security is critical – that is why I introduced the Protecting Americans Abroad Act. With questions still lingering around the attack in Benghazi, the Protecting Americans Abroad act gives the State Department the necessary tools to ensure what happened there never happens again and to keep Americans serving us safe from harm. - Rep. Trey Radel