The Bureau’s operational units and offices, including the Legislative Reference Unit, Congressional Correspondence Unit, and Congressional Travel Office, provide critical support to the Department’s on-going engagement with Congress, promote effective coordination, and facilitate Congressional oversight.
Legislative Reference Unit
The Legislative Reference Unit (LRU) oversees the coordination and clearance functions of the Bureau of Legislative Affairs with respect to legislation and reports. The office monitors all significant legislation involving the Department and serves as the liaison in the legislative clearance process, coordinating views between OMB, National Security Council, and other executive agencies. The process used for coordinating views is the Legislative Reference Memorandum (LRM). Items sent through this process include: proposed or draft legislation, executive orders, proclamations, Statements of Administration Policy (SAP), enrolled bills, Administration testimony for Congressional hearings, and reports required by legislative activities. In addition, the LRU is responsible for coordinating and maintaining the system that identifies and tasks reports to Congress, required by law and by legislative history, which are prepared for signature and submission by the Secretary of State or his or her designee(s).
Congressional Correspondence Unit
The Congressional Correspondence Unit (CCU) receives and tracks all written correspondence from Members of Congress. The CCU coordinates Questions for the Record (QFRs) for all Department witnesses and assists in the confirmation process for ambassadorial nominations. In addition, the CCU responds to telephone inquiries from congressional offices seeking information related to Department programs, policies, and publications.
Congressional Travel Office
The Congressional Travel Office (CTO) facilitates official foreign travel arrangements for Members’ of Congress and their staff. The CTO is responsible for all logistical aspects of Congressional travel including notification to Posts abroad, compilation of itineraries and scheduling.