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Congressman Joaquin Castro

Representing the 20th District of Texas

Castro, McCaul Introduce Foreign Service Officer Civil Relief Act

Mar 6, 2018
Press Release

Washington, D.C.– Today, Congressmen Michael McCaul (TX-10) and Joaquin Castro (TX-20), members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced H.R. 5167, the Foreign Service Officer Civil Relief Act

This legislation allows our Foreign Service Officers (FSO) to receive the same benefits offered to our military men and women.  Specifically, it permits FSOs to terminate personal cell phone contracts, as well as domestic housing and vehicle leases while deployed abroad.

Congressman McCaul: “Unlike our men and women in the military deployed abroad, our nation’s diplomats across the globe are not afforded the ability to terminate costly contracts they entered into prior to deployment. However, just like our military personnel, Foreign Service Officers are working around the clock in defense of our nation’s security and should not be burdened by the additional costs of housing leases for a residence they can’t live in, leases on a car they can’t drive, or a contract for a cell phone they can’t use. Our legislation addresses this issue by providing the financial relief our FSOs serving bravely abroad deserve.”

Congressman Castro: “America’s Foreign Service Officers dedicate their lives to advance U.S. leadership abroad in more than 270 embassies, consulates, and other missions in some of the most dangerous parts of the world. Unlike U.S. military personnel, our nation’s frontline civilians are not able to cancel domestic contracts while deployed overseas, forcing them to incur steep costs while serving our country. That’s why Rep. McCaul and I introduced the Foreign Service Officer Civil Relief Act, which provides financial relief to our FSOs so they can terminate personal cell phone contracts or domestic housing and vehicle leases while deploying abroad. These diplomats work to defend the United States and our interests abroad and deserve the full support of their government for the work they do on behalf of our beloved country.”