WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Eric Schmitt sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken demanding answers on the backlog of passports, particularly relating to certain amounts of money and manpower being used for Biden Administration pet projects in foreign countries rather than passport processing:
“Unnecessary expenditures by the State Department on pet projects of little or no value to the American taxpayer all while continuing to struggle with the passport backlog underscores how misplaced Antony Blinken and this entire Administration’s priorities are. I promised Missourians that I would hold this Administration’s feet to the fire on this issue, and I intend to get to the bottom of this irresponsible spending and lack of action on passport backlogs,” said Senator Eric Schmitt.
Some of the State Department’s recent expenditures that could be spent on hiring more passport agents include:
· $120,000 on ‘Gastrodiplomacy.’
· $1,565,000 for foreign sports or Esports-Adjacent Projects.
· $400,000 on funding Chinese efforts to combat wildlife trafficking.
· $30,699,850 for DEI or Environmental funding abroad.
o As a sub-note, over a million dollars are going to wealthy nations, such as Germany, Japan, NZ and China.
· Senator Schmitt sent a letter to the State Department demanding answers for delays in processing passports on April 12.
o On numerous occasions, Missourians have reported phone calls not answered, voicemails not returned, and in-person appointments unavailable.