President Biden signed the Havana Act into law on October 9, 2021. Nine days later, the State Department’s Bureau of Global Talent Management (GTM) “Care Working Group” finally sent a “Dear colleagues” letter to agency employees on October 18. Basically informing employees that 1) the Act was signed; 2) this will go through a Federal rules-making process and inter-agency consultations and clearances” (translation– it’ll take a while); 3) there will be no interim updates (translation- don’t call us, we’ll call you).
President Biden signed the HAVANA Act on October 8th.
We know you are eager to get updates and to have a sense of when the Department will be able to offer the benefits provided under the law.
The HAVANA Act also applies to non-State employees under Chief of Mission authority, which means that our implementation of the Act will have to go through the Federal rules-making process, which is lengthy, and requires consultations and clearances with multiple other Federal agencies. The bill also requires an appropriation in order to fund it. That appropriation has not yet been passed.
In the Act, Congress requires the Secretary of State (and other Federal agency heads) to prescribe regulations no later than 180 days after the enactment of the Act. We are collaborating with subject matter experts across the Department and the interagency to get this done. We want to make sure that the benefits will be equitable across all agencies. We’re not likely to be able to give you a lot of interim updates, but we want you to know that we are working on it, and if there’s something we can share with you, we will.
The message does not include an individual’s name, only labeled as coming from “The Care Coordination team.” We’re starting to wonder if there’s anyone in charge there, or is this a bot on detail at GTM?
The HAVANA Act is now law, and help is on the way for victims of Havana Syndrome. pic.twitter.com/3TRkoLjRo1
— Sen. Susan Collins (@SenatorCollins) October 8, 2021
Proud to join @POTUS yesterday as he signed my bill, the HAVANA Act, into law.
Every day, brave diplomats, intelligence officers, and servicemembers make great sacrifices.
We must care for them as we investigate these troubling incidents and hold those responsible to account. pic.twitter.com/mqcSOYfSeO
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) October 9, 2021
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) October 8, 2021
NEW: Nearly 6 months after we @politico first reported on the increasing threat of suspected directed-energy attacks on U.S. personnel, President Biden signs the HAVANA Act into law—a bill that expands victims’ access to medical treatment.@laraseligman @woodruffbets @ErinBanco pic.twitter.com/wPzsVAqh9D
— Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio) October 8, 2021