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Oversight Committee Dems Introduce Bill to Fund Overtime Pay for Secret Service Agents in 2016 and All Future Presidential Election Years

Nov 16, 2016
Press Release

Oversight Committee Dems Introduce Bill to Fund Overtime Pay for Secret Service Agents in 2016 and All Future Presidential Election Years

  

Washington, D.C. (Nov. 16, 2016)—Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and all Committee Democrats introduced H.R. 6318, the Fair Pay for Presidential Protection Act of 2016, to ensure U.S. Secret Service agents are paid for the overtime they have worked in 2016 and will work in all future presidential election years.

“The men and women of the Secret Service put their lives on the line every day because they love our country,” Cummings said. “They endure high-stress 16-hour work days, they are away from their families for weeks at a time, and they miss birthdays and holidays and time with their kids.  They make extreme sacrifices—and they should get paid for the time they work.  Trying to fix 2016 is not enough—we need a permanent solution.  This issue comes up every election cycle, and our legislation would cover this year as well as all future presidential campaign years.  It is Congress’ duty to consistently fund the Secret Service’s most mission-critical areas, and we must take action.”

Press accounts report that at least 1,000 Secret Service agents have already “maxed out” their annual overtime and salary under the cap on premium pay codified at 5 U.S.C. §5547, which prohibits agents from being paid for overtime after they reach the maximum annual salary for the pay rate of GS-15.

According to these reports, some agents reached the annual limit as early as June and have not been paid for the overtime they have worked for the around-the-clock protection of the presidential candidates and their families.

The Democratic bill would:

  • authorize overtime pay for Secret Service agents who work overtime during any presidential election year—including 2016—as long as their total annual compensation does not exceed the amount up to level I of the Executive Schedule;
  • prohibit the authorized overtime compensation from being used to calculate an agent’s retirement benefits or accrued leave benefits upon leaving service; and
  • amend current law to ensure that Secret Service agents’ bi-weekly compensation may include overtime pay they received  during a presidential election year.

Last year, the Committee issued a bipartisan report finding that Secret Service “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 report recommended on a bipartisan basis that “Congress should ensure that Secret Service has sufficient funds to restore staffing to required levels, and Secret Service should ensure that it has systems in place to achieve these goals.”

The Committee will hold a business meeting tomorrow to consider legislation introduced by Chairman Jason Chaffetz to fund overtime pay only in 2016.  Democrats will introduce their legislation as an amendment to the Chairman’s bill in order to permanently increase the overtime pay cap in future presidential election years.

On Tuesday, Cummings and Rep. Bennie Thompson, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, sent a letter to the House Committee on Appropriations urging appropriators to include  funding for Fiscal Year 2017 that would ensure that Secret Service agents are eligible to be paid for the overtime they earn in each of the 2016 and 2020 presidential election years.  They also asked the Committee to give the Secret Service funds to pay for additional overtime agents have earned this year up to level I of the Executive Schedule.

Click here to see a copy of the bill.  

114th Congress