The Secret Service has been the subject of so many critics for everything from fence jumpers to using prostitutes on presidential trips. Now, Congress has released a report on the agency that says it is “in crisis.”
The number one purpose for the Secret Service is to protect the president and the White House. But the agency is under fire from Congress for repeated scandals and security breaches.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released a crushing 400-page report Thursday.
“We in the Congress have been very upset with regard to the Secret Service and we have not made any secret of it,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), a ranking member of the committee. “It has been bipartisan criticism. All of us are concerned about the safety of the president and those people who the Secret Service is sworn to protect.”
We have heard incidents of people jumping the White House fence, with the recent one happening last week on Thanksgiving Day. But Congress now reveals high-level security breaches.
“This report, it comes out that four individuals were fishing at Vice President [Joe] Biden’s residence, and neighbors called,” said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.). “So it’s a sad day when the neighborhood watch is actually more protective than the U.S. Secret Service.”
Congress spent a year investigating the Secret Service and how it protects the president and the White House. The final report has information on past scandals that we have never heard before.
In March, two senior Secret Service agents were drunk when they interfered with a bomb threat investigation outside the White House. But the agency never followed up to see if other agents violated the rule against drinking ten hours before reporting for duty.
In September of last year, President Barack Obama was at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. A security guard with a history of violence and arrests got on the elevator with him. Now we know this armed guard, without any clearance, was with the president three times.
The Secret Service was rocked by scandal of their agents hired prostitutes while on a presidential trip to Cartagena, Columbia. The new report shows brazen emails between agents. One email described the motto for the official trip as "una mas cerveza por favor" or "one more beer, please."
Congress gave specific recommendations to the Secret Service. Is the Secret Service able to protect the president and the White House?
“Do they have the ability? The answer is yes,” said Rep. Meadows. “Have they implemented all those suggestions? I hope so in the very near future before we have to do a report on something that is a lot more tragic than these high security level breaches.”
“If we don't make those corrections now, they may never be made,” said Rep. Cummings. “And if we don't make them now, then things will only get worse.”
ISIS has increased threats to the United States. Congress wants changes immediately to protect this president and the future presidents to come.