Senate passes bill giving former presidents lifetime Secret Service protections

Gowdy’s bill eliminates certain limitations on the length of Secret Service protection for former presidents and their spouses and children. The bill authorizes the Secret Service to protect former presidents and their spouses for their lifetimes and the children of a former president who are under age 16.

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Secret Service limitations were added under the George W. Bush administration as a money saving measure, under the assumption that former presidents could pay for their own security protections shortly after leaving office. Gowdy’s bill reverses that decision.

The Senate also passed S. 3454, the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, by voice vote. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) introduced the bill, which authorizes funds for federal intelligence agencies for national security measures. Earlier Friday, the Senate passed another intelligence bill, amending surveillance programs.

Other measures passed by unanimous consent before the Senate adjourned until Sunday:

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) introduced H.R. 6621, which amends the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) to make changes to the transitional program for covered business method patents.

Rep. Edward Royce (R-Calif.) introduced the North Korean Refugee Adoption Act, H.R. 1464, which asks the Secretary of State to develop a comprehensive strategy for facilitating the adoption of North Korean children by U.S. citizens.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) introduced H.R. 6014, which directs the Attorney General to make grants to assist states with costs associated with the implementation of minimum or enhanced DNA collection processes.