Pompeo lifts unpopular State Department hiring freeze

WASHINGTON - Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has lifted the unpopular hiring freeze that had been in place at the State Department for more than a year.

Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson enacted the freeze as part of his unsuccessful attempt to restructure and slim down the State Department. That created significant obstacles to filling key positions and employing spouses of U.S. diplomats and contributed to low morale within the department.

Pompeo says he's authorizing the department to hire both in the United States and overseas within the agency's current funding levels. He says in a letter to State Department workers obtained by The Associated Press that the U.S. needs "our men and woman on the ground executing American diplomacy with great vigour and energy."

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