The Bureau of Legislative Affairs (H) coordinates legislative activity for the Department of State and advises the Secretary, the Deputy, as well as the Under Secretaries and Assistant Secretaries on legislative strategy. H facilitates effective communication between State Department officials and the Members of Congress and their staffs. H works closely with authorizing, appropriations, and oversight committees of the House and Senate, as well as with individual Members that have an interest in State Department or foreign policy issues. H manages Department testimony before House and Senate hearings, organizes Member and staff briefings, and facilitates Congressional travel to overseas posts for Members and staff throughout the year. H reviews proposed legislation and coordinates Statements of Administration Policy on legislation affecting the conduct of U.S. foreign policy. The H staff advises individual Bureaus of the Department on legislative and outreach strategies and coordinates those strategies with the Secretary’s priorities.
The Secretary of State is the principal Congressional Relations Officer of the Department. H supports the Secretary by ensuring that the administration’s foreign policy priorities are reflected throughout the legislative process. H coordinates the annual testimony provided by the Secretary to Congressional committees with jurisdiction over State programs to explain Department priorities and budget requirements. The bureau succeeds in its overall mission by seeking passage of relevant foreign policy legislation and appropriations, obtaining advice and consent to treaties, as well as confirmation of the President’s Departmental and Ambassadorial nominees by the Senate.
The Assistant Secretary, advises the Secretary of State on legislative matters, directs the Bureau of Legislative Affairs, and acts as the Department’s principal liaison with the Congress.
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:
- Office of Senate Affairs
- Office of House Affairs
- Office of Regional, Global, and Functional Affairs
- Executive Office
Capitol Hill Liaison Office
Since 2001, the Department of State has operated its Capitol Hill House Liaison Office located in RHOB 2028 of the Rayburn House Office Building and the Senate Liaison Office located in SR-189 of the Senate Russell Office Building, which was created in 2010. Both offices provide a full range of State Department support services to members of Congress and their staff. In particular, it provides services related to consular affairs and travel by members of Congress. In fact, there are two full time Foreign Service Officer who are Consular Affairs specialist and available 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
- Senate Foreign Relations Committee
- Senate Committee on Appropriations: Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
- House Committee on Foreign Affairs
- House Committee on Appropriations: Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operation, and Related Programs
- Legislative Schedules
- Thomas, Legislative Information
- U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)
- Congressional Budget Office (CBO)