Report: Secret Service can’t afford to pay agents to protect Trump family

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive for the “Make America Great Again Rally” at Orlando-Melbourne International Airport in Melbourne, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON (CBS) The Secret Service can no longer afford to pay agents needed to protect President Trump and his family because of an unprecedented number of White House protectees and because of frequent travel, according to USA Today.

“The president has a large family, and our responsibility is required in law,” Service Service Director Randolph “Tex” Alles told USA Today in an interview. “I can’t change that. I have no flexibility.”

Alles said that more than 1,000 agents have already hit federal caps for salary and overtime allowances that were supposed to cover the entire year, which is about a third of the agency’s workforce. As a result, the director is discussing with members of Congress to raise the caps from $160,000 per year to $187,000 for the rest of Mr. Trump’s first term, the report said.

“We have them working all night long; we’re sending them on the road all of the time,” Alles said. “There are no quick fixes, but over the long term, I’ve got to give them a better balance [of work and private life] here.”

The agency has also had to deal with frequent travel by the president to his properties along the East Coast such as in Florida, Virginia and New Jersey as well as vacations taken by other members of his family, the report said. In April, CBS News’ Laura Strickler reported that the president’s trips on Air Force One to Mar-a-Lago have cost taxpayers an estimated $700,000 for each round trip. CBS News has estimated, based on a previous Government Accountabilty Office report, that each presidential trip to Mar-a-Lago costs about $3 million.

The Secret Service protects 18 members of the president’s family, with 42 people in total, the report said. During the Obama administration, agents protected 31 people.

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