Top House Dems Urge Appropriators Fund Secret Service Overtime Pay for 2016 & 2020 Elections
(WASHINGTON) – Today, Reps. Elijah E. Cummings and Bennie G. Thompson, Ranking Members of the Committees on Oversight and Government Reform and 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.
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 the overtime they work once they reach the maximum allowable 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 been ineligible to be paid for the considerable overtime required for the national political conventions and around-the-clock protection of the presidential candidates and their families.
“The Secret Service has a no-fail mission, and we cannot expect to achieve adequate staffing levels when so many agents are being asked to work overtime for free,” the Members wrote. “While the enactment of provisions that would permanently authorize an increase in the annual compensation limit for agents during years with presidential elections would best ensure the retention of Secret Service’s most experienced agents, enacting the waiver provision in S. 3001 is an essential first step.”
Cummings and Thompson called on House appropriators to give the Secret Service funds to pay for additional overtime agents have earned this year up to level I of the Executive Schedule.