More than 1,000 agents have hit the federally mandated caps for salary and overtime allowances that were meant to last the entire year. One reason is that under President Trump, 42 people have protection, including 18 members of his family. That’s up from 31 during the Obama administration.
The Secret Service can not afford to pay hundreds of agents to perform an expanded protective mission, largely due to the size of President Trump’s family and their many residences up and down the East Coast, reports USA Today. Agency Director Randolph “Tex” Alles said more than 1,000 agents have hit the federally mandated caps for salary and overtime allowances that were meant to last the entire year. The agency has faced a crushing workload since the height of the contentious election season. Agents must protect Trump – who has traveled almost every weekend to his properties in Florida, New Jersey or Virginia – and his adult children whose business trips and vacations have taken them across the U.S. and overseas. “The president has a large family, and our responsibility is required in law,” Alles said. “I can’t change that. I have no flexibility.”
Under Trump, 42 people have protection, a number that includes 18 members of his family. That’s up from 31 during the Obama administration. Overwork and constant travel has been driving a recent exodus from the Secret Service ranks. Without congressional action to provide additional funding, Alles will not be able pay agents for the work they have already done. He has begun 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. While 800 agents and uniformed officers were hired in the past year as part of an ongoing recruiting blitz, attrition limited the agency’s net staffing gain to 300.