House members propose lifetime Secret Service protection for former presidents

The law was changed in 1994 to put a 10-year limit on protection of former presidents, and Gowdy's bill would return to the prior practice of lifetime protection.

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Current law allows for the temporary protection of presidents and spouses after 10 years, but a House aide said the Secret Service is better prepared to plan for full protection rather than respond to requests for temporary protection. The bill was developed in consultation with the Secret Service.

Current law also holds that protection for the children of former presidents lasts for 10 years after leaving office, or until the children turn 16, whichever happens first. The bill would change that to authorize protection for children of former presidents until they turn 16.

The bill is co-sponsored by three other members of the House Judiciary Committee: Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), ranking member John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.).

— This story was updated at 2:52 p.m.