Lawmakers are demanding to know why an over-budget embassy project in Kabul has little in the way of a security plan despite being years behind schedule.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, blasted the State Department for its decision to continue building clusters of costly, unprotected "temporary facilities" instead of making plans for a safe and permanent embassy complex.

"Just last week, Taliban militants attacked a NATO convoy just 500 yards from the U.S. Embassy in Kabul," the Utah Republican noted during a hearing Thursday. "The week before, militants stormed the Afghan parliament in Kabul in broad daylight in what appears to be a coordinated attack."

Rep. Elijah Cummings, the committee's ranking Democrat, agreed that "Kabul is one of the most dangerous places on the face of the earth."

Six years after the State Department awarded the first of two contracts to expand the sprawling diplomatic complex in Afghanistan, the project is now set to consume $792 million in taxpayer funds.

It was initially projected to cost $625 million, or 27 percent less.

The Government Accountability Office issued a warning in May that the cost of construction is still "likely to increase."

Chaffetz pointed to the fact that the temporary homes built for U.S. government personnel had fewer security measure in place than the offices where they work.

"This means that employees were safer working 24 hours a day than returning to their temporary housing," he said.

The State Department does not have a minimum set of security standards for temporary facilities. Officials described the different steps they had taken to protect the provisional buildings, including sandbags and cement barriers, during their testimonies Thursday.

Chaffetz slammed the State Department for its seeming lack of attention to the security of the Kabul embassy, noting that "the only security protection measure specified in the 2009 contract for the temporary housing was shatter-resistant window film."

"I'm no expert, but I don't think 'shatter-resistant' windows can stop a bullet, or worse, a grenade," he said.

Gregory Starr, assistant secretary of State's Bureau of Diplomatic Security, testified that the surge of U.S. personnel in Afghanistan in 2009 forced the agency to construct the large number of interim buildings.

"I think we all have concerns about the length of time we use temporary facilities," Starr said.

The diplomatic security official has also been a key witness in congressional hearings on Benghazi.

Several lawmakers raised concerns about the taxpayer money the agency has poured into the ever-growing embassy.

"As all of us know, when you're in a hole, you need to stop digging," said Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Ga., said of the project's cost overruns.

"We have created a situation where this thing is massive," added Rep. Steve Russell, R-Okla., of the expansive embassy complex.

The Government Accountability Office reported in May that construction on the project will not be completed until 2017.