Rep. John Delaney's proposal to appoint a senior official with responsibility for rescuing Americans captured by terrorists overseas will move forward as part of a Defense Department funding measure.

The House of Representatives agreed to tack the provision onto the spending bill by a voice vote Thursday evening.


Delaney has been working on the idea since Warren Weinstein, one of his constituents and an aid worker in Pakistan, was taken hostage by al-Qaida.

Weinstein, 73, was killed along with an Italian hostage earlier this year when a U.S. drone strike unknowingly hit the terrorist compound where he was being killed, prompting Delaney to mount a renewed push for legislative action.

"These efforts are not really as well coordinated as they should be," Delaney said on the floor of the House of Representatives before the vote. While some officials with the FBI, and Departments of State and Defense work hard to return hostages, Delaney said their efforts are often stymied by red tape.

"The people are dedicated but they don't have the ability to cut through the bureaucracy," the Montgomery County Democrat said.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, a California Republican, formally introduced the amendment. He said it will create somewhere for the buck to stop when it comes to rescuing hostages.

Weinstein's wife, Elaine Weinstein, said last week that she supports the legislation and hopes it will stop other families having to go through the pain hers suffered.

"Ordinary families like ours should have an official who can coordinate the efforts of government agencies and whose sole responsibility is to bring American hostages home," she said in a statement. "We hope that this effort will be the first step toward a solution to ensure that families have the resources and support they need as work to rescue their loved ones."

The government is carrying out a review of its policy towards American hostages and White House spokesman Josh Earnest said officials are considering a similar idea to the one proposed by Delaney.

The House is expected to vote on the full defense spending bill tomorrow. After that, the Senate will take up its version and should the hostage measure survive the process of reconciling the two chambers' bills it would be sent to President Barack Obama to be signed into law.