Burchett: Bureau of Consular Affairs failing to provide adequate passport services

June 22, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 22, 2021) – Today, U.S. Representative Tim Burchett (TN-02) called out the U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs for its slow processing of passport applications and lack of communication regarding the status of applications.

In a letter to Ian G. Brownlee, Acting Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Consular Affairs, Rep. Burchett conveyed confusion is growing among East Tennesseans due to insufficient information about their passport applications.

"Professional caseworkers in my office are overwhelmed with constituent passport inquiries and are doing their best to accommodate all requests. However, staff at the Department of State are not conveying information in a timely manner," Rep. Burchett wrote. "It is unacceptable my staff cannot update constituents regarding the current status of their passport applications. 

Rep. Burchett went on to urge Acting Assistant Secretary Brownlee and his department to resume processing passport applications at a regular pace, citing the importance of passports in returning the U.S. economy to pre-pandemic levels.

"While I understand there are difficulties resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, I encourage you to devote greater time and effort to reducing the massive passport backlog and improving communication with congressional staff," Rep. Burchett wrote. "The quicker this issue is resolved, the quicker our economy returns to pre-pandemic levels."

Rep. Burchett's full letter is available here