WHAT IT IS
- The United States Secret Service is having money troubles.
- The Service will hit its federally mandated cap on salaries and overtime at the end of September, and will, consequently, be unable to protect the President and his family starting Sept. 30.
WHY IT MATTERS
The declining budget for the Secret Service illuminates a few problems. First, President Trump’s trips to Mar-A-Lago cost taxpayers around $3.6 million each time. These trips, of course, involve his Secret Service unit. For the President, the costs come with an additional perk: money flows into his own pocket. Trump’s travel to his properties, Mar-A-Lago included, are trailed by a press corps producing images to the world to allow the official business of the presidency to double as marketing opportunities for his brand. Conflict of interest?
WHERE WE ARE NOW
- If congress doesn’t lift the cap, a third of the agency’s agents (roughly 1,100) will be working overtime without being paid.
- The Secret Service requested $60 million in additional funding for the next year to protect the Trump entourage.
- Half of the additional money, $26 million, is budgeted to protect his family and private home in New York’s Trump Tower, and $33 million would be spent on travel costs.
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
- Can’t the President utilize Camp David?
- Will the President’s travel habits make Congress less keen to remove the salary cap?
- If the cap is removed, how will their be any limits to the President’s Secret Service costs?