Lawmakers unveil bill to fund Secret Service overtime

Bipartisan lawmakers on Monday introduced legislation to ensure that Secret Service agents are paid for overtime work after the agency hit its caps this year while protecting President Trump and his family.

Secret Service Director Randolph Alles said last month that the agency is no longer able to pay agents because more than 1,000 of them have already reached the limits for salary and overtime allowances this year.

The Secret Service’s budget has been strained due to the size of Trump’s family and the need to secure their multiple residences and travel plans, according to a USA Today report.

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A bill authored by Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.), chairman of the House Homeland Security subcommittee on transportation and protective security, and Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), the top Democrat on the Oversight Committee, would allow the Secret Service to raise agents’ salary and overtime cap to $187,000 from $161,900 per year. The raised cap would apply to this year and to 2018.

The legislation would provide compensation for about 1,300 affected Secret Service employees, according to the House Oversight Committee.

It would also require the Secret Service to submit a report to Congress on its recruitment and retention efforts.

“The men and women of the Secret Service deserve to be paid for the hours they work, period,” Katko and Cummings said in a joint statement. “They put their lives on the line every day and make tremendous personal sacrifices for our country. We cannot expect the Secret Service to recruit and retain the best of the best if they are not being compensated for the additional work that is demanded of them.”

The House Oversight Committee will consider the legislation on Wednesday, paving the way for a floor vote in the coming weeks.

Trump has frequently traveled to his properties in Florida, New Jersey and Virginia since taking office, which has added to the Secret Service’s expenses. Trump’s adult children have also traveled for business trips and vacations.

At least 1,000 Secret Service agents similarly maxed out their pay last year during the 2016 presidential campaign. Congress also had to pass legislation to ensure agents could be compensated for the overtime hours where they effectively had to work without pay after reaching the caps.