The Secret Service can’t pay hundreds of its agents to protect President Donald Trump’s large family and their frequent travel, Director Randolph “Tex” Alles told USA Today.
More than 1,000 agents have already met the cap for salary and overtime that was suppose to last the agency the whole year.
The Secret Service provides protection for 42 people under Trump, including 18 members of his family. Former President Barack Obama had 31 people under Secret Service’s protection, USA Today reported.
It’s not just the size of the President’s family that’s causing strain on the department, Alles said, it’s also Trump’s travel and his children’s business and vacation travel that has overworked Secret Service agents.
“The President has a large family, and our responsibility is required in law,” Alles told USA Today. “I can’t change that. I have no flexibility.”
The director has been in talks with some lawmakers about raising the federally mandated salary and overtime compensation cap for agents from $160,000 a year to $187,000.
The agency is working to hire more officers in the next few years, Alles said, with a goal of increasing the force from the 6,800 it has currently to about 7,600 in 2019 and 9,500 in 2025.
The President’s frequent trips to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida reportedly cost tax payers $3 million per trip. The agency has spent $60,000 on renting golf carts this year alone in order to protect the President while he’s at Mar-a-Lago and during trips to his golf club in Bedminster, N.J.
Read USA Today’s full reporter here.