Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

Cummings: Bill to Pay For Secret Service Overtime in 2016 Good, But Not Enough

Nov 30, 2016
Press Release

Cummings: Bill to Pay For Secret Service Overtime in 2016 Good, But Not Enough

 

Ranking Member Calls for Including Funding in CR and

Passing Legislation to Make Fix Permanent

 

Washington, D.C. (Nov. 30, 2016)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, submitted the following statement for the record, in support of H.R. 6302, Overtime Pay for Secret Service Agents Act of 2016, but argued that 2016 funding must be included in the Continuing Resolution and Congress must pass a permanent fix:

 

 

Statement of

Ranking Member Elijah E. Cummings

H.R. 6302, Overtime Pay for Secret Service Agents Act of 2016

November 30, 2016

 

I support H.R. 6305, the Overtime Pay for Secret Service Agents Act of 2016.  The bill would authorize an increase in the annual salary and overtime limit up to level II of the Executive Schedule so that Secret Service agents would be eligible to receive additional back pay for the considerable hours of overtime they worked in 2016. 

 

Last year, the Committee adopted a bipartisan report concluding that the Secret Service, and I quote, “is experiencing a staffing crisis that threatens to jeopardize its critical mission” due in large part to “significant cuts imposed by the Budget Control Act of 2011.”  The unanimous report recommended that Congress, quote, “ensure that Secret Service has sufficient funds to restore staffing to required levels.”  Providing this much-needed relief in the highly demanding 2016 presidential campaign year is a first and essential step towards fulfilling the Committee’s recommendation.

 

I appreciate the efforts that Chairman Chaffetz and his staff have made to address this issue, and I believe we are in agreement that we must pay the dedicated men and the women of the Secret Service for the overtime they worked in 2016.  However, addressing just this one year retroactively does not go far enough. 

 

The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, which represents rank-and-file Secret Service agents, testified before our Committee that there should be a legislative fix to raise the overtime pay cap, and I quote, “at a minimum, during a presidential campaign year.”  The witness added that although, quote, “this last election season was unprecedented in many respects, we do not believe it will prove to be unique in the years ahead,” and he stressed, quote, “the importance of working together to find a permanent solution to the effect that the pay cap has on the USSS.”

 

The demands on Secret Service agents are likely to remain extremely high with the substantial resources needed to provide around-the-clock protective details for all 18 Trump family members – including the First Lady, five children and three of their spouses, and eight grandchildren.  The announced plan to split time between the White House and the Trump tower in Manhattan would also add significant challenges and strain the resources of the Secret Service.

 

That is why all Committee Democrats joined together to introduce H.R. 6318, the Fair Pay for Presidential Protection Act of 2016, to ensure that Secret Service agents are paid not just for the overtime they worked in 2016, but also for the overtime they will work in all future presidential years.  Our legislation would also authorize a greater level of overtime compensation than H.R. 6302.

 

I would also note that the Republican Leadership recently decided to change course and use a continuing resolution to fund the government at last year’s spending levels through next March.  Passing only this stopgap measure would mean Secret Service agents would not see an additional penny unless Congress includes additional funds in this spending bill.  Otherwise, Secret Service agents may have to wait at least another four months without any additional compensation for their work in 2016.

 

            I urge my colleagues to support this bill, but I also hope the Committee will revisit this overtime pay issue next year so that the Secret Service will have a legislative solution in time for the 2020 election season.

 

 

114th Congress