Secret Service Running Short on Money to Pay Agents
The United States Secret Service is facing a funds shortfall as it runs out of money to pay its agents protecting the President and his family.
The agency has already exhausted the maximum allowed agent salaries and overtime allowances that were mandated to last a year. These agents have been providing safety and protection to President Trump and his family at numerous of their residences along the East Coast.
The Director of the Secret Service, Randolph Alles, informed of the agency’s liquidity crunch in an interview with USA Today. The director also informed that the agency is facing an exodus of good agents. The agents are getting overworked, while the agency is unable to accordingly compensate them for their services.
The director said that “more than 1,000 agents have already hit the federally mandated caps for salary and overtime allowances that were meant to last the entire year.”
He further added that he has little flexibility to control the funds saying, “The president has a large family, and our responsibility is required in law.”
Under the Obama administration, the Secret Service was protecting 31 members of the White House including the president and his family.
However, under the current administration, the agency is giving protection to 42 people, including President Trump and 18 members of his family.
The agents are forced to put in extra hours, work through the night and weekends, and constantly travel with the president and his family. The president is reported to be visiting his properties within the country every weekend. Meanwhile, his children have also been taking business trips and vacations within the country and abroad.
The agency now fears that it may not be able to recruit and retain the best agents if they are not properly compensated for the additional work.
The director is now in talks with lawmakers to increase the salary and overtime cap for the Secret Service agents. He is proposing the combined salary and overtime compensation to be raised from $160,000 per year to $187,000 per year, at least during the first term of the president, so the agency is able to retain its best agents.
“Exclusive: Secret Service depletes funds to pay agents because of Trump’s frequent travel, large family,” USA Today, August 21, 2017.