Legislation to overhaul the Secret Service easily passed the House on Monday in the aftermath of high-profile security incidents at the White House.

Lawmakers overwhelmingly supported the measure in a 365-16 vote following a string of embarrassing scandals, including last year’s White House fence jumper and Secret Service agents caught with prostitutes while on a presidential trip in Colombia.


The September 2014 incident, in which Omar Gonzalez jumped the White House fence and made it all the way into the East Room carrying a knife, led to a high-profile House Oversight Committee hearing and the resignation of then-Secret Service Director Julia Pierson. Gonzalez has since been sentenced to 17 months in prison and 36 months of supervised release.

“It took a stunning penetration to the very interior of the White House by Omar Gonzalez last year to make it clear that reform of the Secret Service was urgent,” said Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.). 

The bill crafted by the House Judiciary Committee would direct the Secret Service to evaluate its use of technology and the potential for additional weaponry at the White House. It would also require the Secret Service director to be confirmed by the Senate.

It further expands requirements for Secret Service agents’ training and the size of the agency workforce. The Secret Service would have to increase the annual number of hours for training officers, though the bill does not outline a specific number. 

The legislation also authorizes the Secret Service to hire at least 200 more uniformed division officers and 85 new special agents. Such a provision follows the recommendation of an independent report commissioned last year by the Department of Homeland Security to hire more agents because agents are currently working for “an unsustainable number of hours.”

In addition, the Secret Service would be authorized to build officer training facilities at the Rowley Training Center in Beltsville, Md. 

The Secret Service earlier this month added metal spikes atop the White House fence on Pennsylvania Avenue as a temporary means of deterring intruders until a long-term design is implemented.

The legislation now heads to the Senate, but it’s unclear if and when it will be considered.