President Trump’s weekend vacations to his many properties is costing so much money that the secret service can not pay their agents. It is only August, but Trump’s lavish lifestyle, which is not paid for by American taxpayers, has already met the annual pay cap for over 1000 agents.
The Secret Service can no longer afford to pay hundreds of agents it needs to carry out an expanded protective mission – in large part due to the sheer size of President Trump’s family and efforts necessary to secure their multiple residences up and down the East Coast, reported USA Today.
Secret Service Director Randolph “Tex” Alles told USA Today that more than 1,000 of his agents have already hit federally mandated caps for salary and overtime allowances, as they have had to expend significantly more time and resources protecting assorted Trump properties.
In addition to protecting Trump during his regular weekend jaunts to Mar-a-Lago and his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, the Secret Service also has to protect Trump’s offspring during their overseas business trips.
“The president has a large family, and our responsibility is required in law,” Alles explains to USA Today. “I can’t change that. I have no flexibility.”
Alles says he is working with Congress to raise the total cap for compensation to ensure that more agents get paid for their work — but he says that raising the total compensation cap from $160,000 to $187,000 would still leave about 130 agents without the proper pay for work already done in protecting the president and his family.
“I don’t see this changing in the near term,” Alles said. “Normally, we are not this tapped out.”
Over time, Alles expects their hiring campaign will help relieve the pressure from their current employees.
There are currently 6,800 agents and uniform officers, the goal is to reach 7,600 by 2019 and 9,500 by 2025.
But for now, Alles is focused on ensuring that his current agents will be paid for the work they have already done, and restoring some sort of balance to their lives before they get totally burned out.
“We have them working all night long; we’re sending them on the road all of the time,” Alles said. “There are no quick fixes, but over the long term, I’ve got to give them a better balance (of work and private life) here.”
(Article By Jeremiah Jones)