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DEPARTMENT OF STATE
STATEMENT OF JOHN M. THOMAS, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF
STATE FOR ADMINISTRATION ACCOMPANIED BY:
SAMUEL W. LEWIS, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR IN
TERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION AFFAIRS
SECURITY AND CONSULAR AFFAIRS
The total budget request considered by the House is $1,049,134,000. The House reduced this amount by $7 million. The Department of State is not appealing for restoration of any of the House reduction. However, the House report includes some restrictive language which would allow the State Department to fill only one out of every five American positions that become vacant because of retirement or resignation.
We understand that the State Department finds this language especially troublesome and is prepared to discuss this matter before the Senate committee.
In addition, the State Department also wishes to discuss two relatively minor budget amendments in the amount of $5.5 million which were received by the Congress too late for consideration by the House committee. Mr. Thomas, you may proceed.
PREPARED STATEMENT Mr. THOMAS. Mr. Chairman, I have a prepared statement. I will be very happy to submit it for the record.
Senator PASTORE. Without objection, it is so ordered. [The statement follows:]
IN SUPPORT OF THE FISCAL YEAR 1977 BUDGET REQUEST OF THE
DEPARTMENT OF STATE:
THE HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE RECENTLY
RECOMMENDED AN ALLOWANCE FOR 1977 OF $1.042 BILLION OR
A REDUCTION OF ABOUT $7 MILLION BELOW THE DEPARTMENT'S
BUDGET REQUEST. THE HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS FULL COMMITTEE
IS NOT EXPECTED TO REVIEW THE SUBCOMMITTEE'S ACTION UNTIL
LATER THIS MONTH. WE HAVE EVALUATED EACH APPROPRIATION
REDUCTION BY THE HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE TO EXAMINE ITS EFFECT
ON THE DEPARTMENT'S OPERATIONS AND HAVE DETERMINED NOT TO
APPEAL THE HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE'S RECOMMENDED APPROPRIATION
LEVELS, BUT I WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THE HOUSE SUBCOM
MITTEE REPORT LANGUAGE BEARING ON THE REDUCTION OF BUDGET
THIS HOUSE ACTION, HOWEVER, DOES NOT INCLUDE A $5.5
MILLION BUDGET AMENDMENT TRANSMITTED TO THE CONGRESS ON
APRIL 27. THE HOUSE DEFERRED, WITHOUT PREJUDICE, CONSI
DERATION OF THE AMENDMENT BECAUSE OF ITS LATE ARRIVAL.
MR. CHAIRMAN, WITH ME ARE MR. LOREN LAWRENCE, ACTING
ADMINISTRATOR OF THE BUREAU OF SECURITY AND CONSULAR
AFFAIRS, AND MR. SAMUEL LEWIS, ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR
UNITED STATES PASSPORT OFFICE
THE SALARIES AND EXPENSES PORTION OF OUR REQUEST IS COMPOSED OF $1 MILLION FOR DEVELOPMENTAL COSTS OF THE TRAVEL DOCUMENT AND ISSUANCE SYSTEM (TDIS) AND $1 MILLION FOR A FILES MINIATUR I ZATION PROJECT FOR THE UNITED STATES PASSPORT
OFFICE. THE TDIS SYSTEM IS DESIGNED TO PROVIDE A MORE EFFICIENT AND CONVENIENT SERVICE TO THE AMERICAN TRAVELLING PUBLIC. THE FILES MINIATUR IZATION PROJECT IS TO ESTABLISH
A MODERN, EFFICIENT FILES STORAGE AND RETRIEVAL SYSTEM
ESSENTIAL FOR EFFECTIVE PASSPORT AND RELATED OPERATIONS.
ALSO INCLUDED IN THE AMENDMENT IS A REQUEST FOR $3,5
MILLION FOR A CONTRIBUTION TO THE UNITED NATIONS EDUCA
TIONAL, SCIENTIFIC AND CULTURAL ORGANIZATION (UNESCO).
THIS WOULD PARTIALLY OFFSET UNITED STATES ARREARAGES TO
UNESCO AND PERMIT US TO REGAIN OUR VOTE AT THE UPCOMING
GENERAL CONFERENCE THIS FALL. BY HAVING A VOTING PRE
SENCE, THE UNITED STATES WILL BE IN A BETTER POSITION TO
PRESS FOR NEEDED CHANGES SO THE PRESIDENT CAN MAKE THE
CHANGED ITS POLICIES OF A POLITICAL NATURE.
OPPOSITION TO HOUSE PERSONNEL REDUCTION LANGUAGE
MR. CHAIRMAN, WHILE WE ARE NOT APPEALING THE DOLLAR
REDUCTION PROPOSED BY THE HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE IN OUR SALARIES
AND EXPENSES APPROPRIATION, I DO WANT TO EXPRESS THE DEPARTMENT'S STRONG OPPOSITION TO THE METHOD OF ACHIEVING THE
REDUCTION WHICH WE UNDERSTAND WILL BE INCLUDED IN THE HOUSE
VOLUNTARY RETIREMENT OR RESIGNATION ON A WORLD-WIDE BASIS.
REQUESTED NO NEW POSITIONS AND NO DISCRE-
INDICATED ITS COMMITMENT TO MEET THE NEED
IN ADDITION MR. CHAIRMAN, I WOULD LIKE TO POINT OUT
-- DURING THE PAST DECADE, DESPITE WORKLOAD
INCREASES, THE DEPARTMENT HAS HAD AN OVERALL