A House panel has voted to advance a bill that would raise the cap on total pay U.S. Secret Service employees can earn in 2017. Last month, the Secret Service Director Randolph “Tex” Alles said more than 1,000 agents, one-third of the agency’s workforce, have already hit the cap on the amount of overtime they can receive this year.
The 2017 Secret Service Recruitment and Retention Act (H.R. 3731), introduced by Reps. John Katko (R-NY) and Elijah Cummings (D-MD), would raise the pay cap for Secret Service employees from $160,000 a year to $187,000 for 2017-2018.
“The men and women of the Secret Service deserve to be paid for the hours they work, period,” Katko and Cummings said. “They put their lives on the line every day and make tremendous personal sacrifices for our country. However, we can’t expect the Secret Service to recruit and retain the best of the best if they are not being compensated for the additional work that’s demanded of them.”
Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) said, “The Secret Service can’t continue to rely on excessive overtime to fix its staffing problem. While the pay cap waiver is a short-term fix, Congress fully intends to continue to focus on ensuring the Secret Service implements a long-term, meaningful reform to improve hiring and retention thereby reducing the need for overtime at the agency.”
House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) said, “Proper funding is critical to an agency tasked with a zero-fail mission. Extending the pay gap waived at the Secret Service ensures agents, officers, and other employees are properly compensated for the critical work they perform each day.”
Elijah Cummings said, “Logic tells you if you’re not going to get paid, you’re probably going to go somewhere else. And these people can go almost to any agency because they are held in such high-esteem.”
It also directs the agency to submit a report on their recruitment and retention efforts, including data on attrition, morale issues, and strategies to address these issues. The report is also to include the total number of agents receiving premium pay above the pay limitation along with the total amount of premium pay paid to agency employees in the current calendar year.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved the bill without amendment and by voice vote.