by Adedotun Michael
The Secret Service has disclosed it can no longer pay hundreds of agents it needs to carry out an expanded protective mission largely due to the sheer size of President Trump’s family and necessary efforts to secure their multiple residences within the East Coast.
The reason for the development
According to Secret Service Director Randolph “Tex” Alles, in an interview with USA TODAY,” 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 added, “The agency has faced a crushing workload since the height of the contentious election season, and it has not relented in the first seven months of the administration. Agents must protect Trump – who has traveled almost every weekend to his properties in Florida, New Jersey and Virginia – and his adult children whose business trips and vacations have taken them across the country and overseas”.
The director said, “The president has a large family, and our responsibility is required in law, I can’t change that. I have no flexibility”. Alles stressed further, “the service is grappling with an unprecedented number of White House protectees. Under Trump, 42 people have protection, a number that includes 18 members of his family. That’s up from 31 during the Obama administration.
The way forward
Without congressional intervention to provide additional funding, the agency will not even be able pay agents for the work they have already done. The situation is so overwhelming that the director has begun frank discussions with key lawmakers to raise the combined salary and overtime cap for agents, from $160,000 per year to $187,000 for at least the duration of Trump’s first term.
In spite of the discussions, its approval would still not contain compensation for about 130 agents for hundreds of hours already committed. “I don’t see this changing in the near term,” Alles lamented.