The above link is to the text of H.R. 4921, the Strengthening Traditional American Diplomacy Act. The bill is very simple. It requires that 70% of ambassadorial appointments come from the Career Foreign Service, meaning that no more than 30% can be political or patronage.
I support the above act, particularly in light of two recent confirmations, one to Thailand and one to the United Arab Emirates, 2 posts that have never had patronage or political ambassadors, but only Career Foreign Service Officers. The two recently confirmed ambassadors to those posts are both patronage.
70/30 is in line with practice over the years.
Carter had the best record. Clinton also did very well.
Trump is on a destructive path. Not utilizing the Career Foreign Service nearly enough and sending patronage appointees to places where no patronage appointee has any business being.
The bill, if passed, would force Trump and all future President’s to hold to a 70/30 ratio, as most Presidents have approximately done over the years. If passed and if Trump won a second term, he would be obliged to appoint only Career Foreign Service Officer’s until his ratio was above 70/30.
This bill should pass. I am willing to accept patronage ambassadors to places like the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Bahamas, etc. They should not be going to places that requires an expert and the Career Foreign Service needs this protection to ensure that its members are being properly utilized.
I would also note that most advanced countries do not have patronage at all and draw 100% of their diplomats from a professional career service.
Ford’s numbers are somewhat skewed due to his serving only part of a term.
Career Appointments: 60/61.9%
Political Appointments: 37/38.2%
Career Appointments: 149/73.76%
Political Appointments: 53/26.24%
Career Appointments: 262 / 62.4%
Political Appointments: 158 / 37.6%
Career Appointments: 147/68.69%
Political Appointments: 67/31.30%
Career Appointments: 300/71.94%
Political Appointments: 117/28.06%
Career Appointments: 317/68.2%
Political Appointments: 143/31.8%
Career Appointments: 291/69.95%
Political Appointments: 125/30.05%
Career Appointments: 94/58.4%
Political Appointments: 67/41.6%