WASHINGTON (CBS4) – The U.S. Secret Service can no longer afford to pay agents needed to protect President Donald Trump and his family.
“The president has a large family, and our responsibility is required in law,” Secret Service Director Randolph “Tex” Alles says, according to CBS News. “I can’t change that. I have no flexibility.”
Because the Trump family is so large, an unprecedented number of protecees is required. As a result, more than 1,000 agents have already hit federal caps for salary and overtime allowances already.
The agency has also had to deal with frequent travel by the president to his East Coast properties, such as Mar-a-Lago in Florida or Bedminster in New Jersey.
In a statement, Alles said the Secret Service has enough funding to meet mission requirements through Sept. 30. But the agency estimates that approximately 1,100 agents will work overtime hours in excess of their pay camp through the end of the year.
The Secret Service director is talking with members of Congress to raise agents’ salary caps by $27,000 for the remainder of the president’s first term.
“To remedy this ongoing and serious problem, the agency has worked closely with the Department of Homeland Security, the Administration, and the Congress over the past several months to find a legislative solution,” Alles said in his statement Monday. “As we work to ensure that employees are compensated for the hours they work, the Secret Service continues its rigorous hiring of special agents, Uniformed Division officers, and critical support staff to meet future mission requirements.”
In April, CBS News reported that Air Force One trips to Mar-a-Lago have cost taxpayers an estimated $700,000 for each round trip.
CBS News confirmed that, according to federal purchase orders, at least $73,000 has been spent on golf cart rentals alone between Mar-a-Lago and the president’s resort in Bedminster, New Jersey.
In total, the Secret Service protects 18 members of the president’s family. During the Obama administration, agents protected 31 people.