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Since 1949, the Bureau of Legislative Affairs (H) has advanced the mission and legislative priorities of the U.S. Department of State in the U.S. Congress. H reports directly to the Secretary of State and coordinates all official communications, notifications, briefings, and hearings between the Department and Capitol Hill.  H ensures the Secretary’s advocacy in Congress for the Department’s highest priorities, and, likewise, supports the Constitutional oversight role of the Congress.  For this reason, H is the lead bureau in advancing the Department’s timely congressional review and approval of all actions requiring congressional notification and/or consultation, including most security and foreign assistance-related matters. H works daily with internal stakeholders to: facilitate oversight requests; plan, manage, and host all official congressional member and staff travel overseas (CODELs); and provide technical assistance and Department views on legislation affecting foreign policy or Department equities.

The Bureau of Legislative Affairs consists of approximately 60-70 direct hire U.S. employees and leads all Department communications and activities with 535 Members of Congress, their offices, and committee staffs.  H’s responsibility advocating on behalf of the Secretary, the Department, and our nation’s foreign policy goals is significant.  In 2021 alone, H managed, staffed, and helped prepare Department principals for over 76 congressional hearings and 1700 policy-related congressional briefings, calls, and meetings. Regarding nominations, H facilitated over 900 individual nominee courtesy meetings, 30 nomination hearings, and over 5,000 nominee QFR responses for 123 State Department nominees. In addition, H processed 550 congressional reports and 1,485 letters from Congress.

The bureau also has the critical responsibility of supporting the direct link between Congress and Americans experiencing a crisis while overseas. For this reason, H is a core participant in the Department’s emergency response mechanisms to facilitate coordinated Congressional outreach and response during major events and emergencies.

The H bureau takes its responsibility to serve the American people by working through their elected Representatives and Senators seriously. Please be in touch if we can assist you.

Bureau Organization

The Bureau of Legislative Affairs is headed by the Office of the Assistant Secretary, and three Deputy Assistant Secretaries. The bureau’s organization is designed to work closely with congressional oversight committees and leadership. It consists of the following offices:

Capitol Hill Liaison Office

We welcome you to visit the Department of State’s offices on Capitol Hill. The Department has operated its Capitol Hill House Liaison Office located in O’Neill 5340 and the Senate Liaison Office located in SR-189 of the Senate Russell Office Building since 2010. Both offices provide a full range of State Department support services to Members of Congress and their staff. Two full time Foreign Service Consular Affairs Specialists are regularly available in these offices to assist with questions related to visas and passports. See Department of State Travel Information.

You may reach the House Liaison office at 202-226-4642 or the Senate Liaison Office (202) 228-1602/1603

Congressional Links

Department of State Links

U.S. Department of State

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