Posted by: maboulette | April 7, 2017

The Budget for Protection of the First Family

trump family

Eleven weeks into the presidency of Trump, the Secret Service is dealing with how to limit the rising costs and strains that are unexpected that have come with protection of a new first family as large, mobile and high-profile as any in modern American history.


To keep up, dozens of agents from New York and field offices across the country are being temporarily pulled off criminal investigations to assist with two-week stints protecting members of the Trump family, including the first lady and the youngest son in Manhattan’s Trump Tower.


Others, already assigned to the highly selective presidential protective division, had hoped for relief after an exhausting election year. That hope has vanished as they work more overtime hours and spend long stretches away from home because of the Trump family’s far-flung travel.


And in Washington, agency leaders are already negotiating for tens of millions of dollars in additional funding to help offset the sky-high costs of safeguarding Trump Tower and other high-profile family assets like Mar-a-Lago in Florida. It is a figure that will only continue to rise.


“They are flat-out worn out,” said Representative Jason Chaffetz, Republican of Utah, the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The committee’s top-ranking Democratic member, Representative Elijah Cummings of Maryland, gave an analogy: “It’s like being on a bike that you never get off of.”


The assessment has become increasingly apparent as the Secret Service struggles with what amounts to an increase of 40% more people under its protection equaled to a non-campaign year.


There are growing worries among current and former officials in the Homeland Security Department and on Capitol Hill not only about how the Secret Service will keep up, but also what it might mean for its long-term recovery from the high attrition, low morale and spending caps that have plagued it in recent years.


“I think if you were resource rich, you’d absorb it,” said Douglas A. Smith, who served as an assistant secretary of homeland security under President Barack Obama. “It’s not that they aren’t competent enough to do the job, it’s just they’re stretched too thin.”


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