The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

President Obama Calls on Congress to Fully Fund Embassy Security

Today, the President called on Congress to support and fully fund the Administration’s budget request to improve security of our embassies around the world.  In addition, the President called on Congress to support the full implementation of the recommendations of the Benghazi Accountability Review Board (ARB), including recommendations associated with additional support, authorities, and resources for the State Department.  Finally, the President called on Congress to support our efforts to enhance our Marine Security Guard detachments around the world as a part of our effort to better secure high-risk posts.

Every day, thousands of American men and women are serving our nation overseas – military service members, diplomats, development workers and others. They accept the risks that come with service because they understand that they are making vital contributions to our national interests and national security.  We owe it to all of them to do everything in our power to protect our personnel serving overseas.

In the wake of the attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in September 2012, the Department of State reviewed its global security posture and took steps necessary to address security vulnerabilities, including submitting a request to reallocate $1.4 billion in FY 2013 resources to begin work this year that was approved by the Congress.

In addition to the $1.4 billion requested in FY 2013, the FY 2014 budget request provides over $4 billion for the Department of State’s embassy security programs, fully supporting this critical priority.  As part of this effort, the budget includes $2.2 billion to support increased embassy security construction recommend by the Benghazi Accountability Review Board (ARB).

The budget fully supports the resources necessary to address all recommendations made by the Benghazi ARB including increased embassy security construction, expanded Marine Security Guard detachments at US diplomatic facilities, increased security training, and support for a 5% increase in diplomatic security staff.

In addition to resources, the Department of State needs authority to address immediate security concerns.  The Department should have authority to transfer resources that are necessary to provide secure facilities for our personnel overseas.  For instance, in doing so, it should have the authority to draw from other State Department operating accounts.

The President will continue to do everything in his power to make sure a tragedy like this never happens again.  But as the President said, we can’t do this alone and the President will continue to urge members of Congress to work together on behalf of the American people.

(BA in Millions)

2012

Actual

2013

Enacted

2014

Request

Operations (WSP)                                                                        

$1,591   $2,250   $2,182

Construction (WSU)                                                                            

$775  $1,897    $1,864

Total State Security Programs1                                                    

$2,366    $4,147  $4,046

1FY 13 Enacted include the Department of State’s $1.4 billion for embassy security in the wake of the September 11, 2012 Benghazi Attacks

 

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