Secret Service Director Says GOP Sequestration Left Them Down 550 Employees

Pierson, director Secret Service

In the House Oversight Committee hearing which started Tuesday on the problems in the Secret Service as it has failed repeatedly to protect the First Family, the Secret Service blamed the sequestration budget cuts for cuts in staffing.

Bloomberg News writer Del Quentin Wilber tweeted:

This number, she said, was below “optimal level”. Julia Pierson was just appointed as Director of the Secret Service a year and a half ago by President Obama. She was not in charge when the 2011 breach occurred, during which the First Daughters were placed in peril as bullets hit the White House residence. Sasha Obama was in the residence as this happened, while Malia was expected home shortly. The Secret Supervisor ordered agents who were prepared to do battle against the breach to stand down, claiming the noise they heard wasn’t gunfire but the backfire of a vehicle.

Pierson told The New York Times that she would “leave no stone unturned. I am committed to a full and robust fact-finding that allows me to look at what went wrong.”

The sequestration cuts are a result of the House never sitting down with the Senate to reconcile the budget. It was allegedly put into place in order to keep folks from walking away from the negotiation table, but meanwhile, Republicans were championing sequestration as the solution long before it was implemented, and while denying credit in mainstream press, taking a bow for it on Fox News.

Paul Ryan bragged on Fox News in August of 2011 of the sequestration cuts, “We actually got discretionary caps in law. I’ve been fighting for these spending caps ever since the day I came to Congress. We couldn’t even get these kinds of spending caps in the Bush administration.”

Ryan continued, speaking directly about his pleasure in cutting money to government agencies like the Secret Service, “What conservatives like me have been fighting for, for years are statutory caps on spending, legal caps in law that says government agencies cannot spend over a set amount of money.”

On Nov. 11, 2011, the First Daughters were put into peril due to an unthinkable security breach and further stand down order.

Former Republican Representative Eric Cantor admitted that he and former Vice Presidential nominee Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) were the driving force behind the sequestration cuts. Republican Jack Kingston introduced sequestration as GOP “reform” in 2010.

Republicans tried to blame President Obama for the sequester after it turned into a political disaster, but the discovery of a 2011 PowerPoint presentation that Speaker John Boehner gave to Republicans detailing his sequester idea killed that mid deployment. The White House has had a plan on the table since December of 2012 to deal with sequestration to no avail.

The sequestration cuts were wild and brash, with no thought they just slashed the budget. The results have been nothing short of disastrous for many federal agencies, including the Veterans Administration and the IRS.

While sequestration is not the only reason for the terrifying failures of the Secret Service to protect the First Family, it does take money to run things. It takes money to pay good people– a concept that Republicans tout when it excuses Wall Street bonuses in the millions while refusing to raise the minimum wage.

But when it comes to all things government, from Medicare to Social Security to food stamps to the Veterans Administration to the Secret Service, Republicans can’t stop themselves from starving the beast and thereby imposing the chaos of an uncivilized land.

Meanwhile, it was just revealed that the man who jumped the fence earlier this month and gained entry to the White House got further than previously reported. The Secret Service can’t afford to be down 550 people.

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36 Replies to “Secret Service Director Says GOP Sequestration Left Them Down 550 Employees”

  1. Congress Cut the Service and during last hearings about Cartegena totally dropped this info when the Palin factor came to light….Darrel Issa & John McCain thought they “had” POTUS/Secret Service and when the Palin factor came up dropped like a hot potato we are still waiting for FOIA’s etc!
    http://goo.gl/tcdmUv

  2. Take Paul Ryan’s & John Boehner’s Secret Service details and add them to the White House detail.

    If sequestration cut 550 personnel, take them from senators & congressmen.

  3. you’re right… if they really believe the crap they’re trying to sell then they ought to be able to defend themselves because they all should be packing… firm defenders of the 2nd amendment that they claim to be… too bad they have no backbones or balls…

  4. Funding for the Secret Service should not be included in any budget negotiation. Period. That’s sheer idiocy. Oh wait, we are talking about the House, aren’t we. As Rose Ann Rose Anna Danna would say, Never mind.

  5. Always love your comments.
    Roseanne Roseanna Danna said “it’s always somethin'”.
    Which actually fits just as well.
    It IS always somethin’ !!!!

  6. Who tried to tell the republicans that all those budget cuts who come back to bite them in the butt a lot sooner than they thought? The president, the trouble is they thought he was going to be out of office and Romney was going to be the president and they could finish stealing from the american people. Now everybody is finding out just how badly they stole from us and how badly we are paying for it. They never thought this would happen though and it have shook them up terrible and something should, so lets finish shaking them up at the polls, GOTV, VOTE BLUE.

  7. hmmm… there seems to be a pattern here… not enough money for security for Embassies… not enough money for the VA… not enough money for the Secret Service… how is sequester working again? how proud are Ryan and Cantor?

  8. Hey but enough money for our lords of greed
    From 2009 to 2012, average real income per family grew modestly by
    6.0% (Table 1). Most of the gains happened in the last year when average
    incomes grew by 4.6% from 2011 to 2012.
    However, the gains were very uneven. Top 1% incomes grew by
    31.4% while bottom 99% incomes grew only by 0.4% from 2009 to 2012.
    Hence, the top 1% captured 95% of the income gains in the first three years
    of the recovery. From 2009 to 2010, top 1% grew fast and then stagnated
    from 2010 to 2011. Bottom 99% stagnated both from 2009 to 2010 and from
    2010 to 2011. In 2012, top 1% incomes increased sharply by 19.6% while
    bottom 99% incomes grew only by 1.0%. In sum, top 1% incomes are close to
    full recovery while bottom 99% incomes have hardly started to recover.
    http://eml.berkeley.edu/~saez/saez-UStopincomes-2012.pdf

  9. Sounds like the GOP deliberately cut funding for the Secret Service so the President will be more vulnerable to assassination attempts. Rethugs are literally trying to kill PBO without actually pulling the trigger themselves.

  10. The Secret Service has been one of many victims of budget cutting in recent years. Its funding for the current year is $2.56 billion, down $5 million from 2012, according to budget expert Scott Lilly at the liberal Center for American Progress. The agency took a much bigger hit in 2013 because of sequestration. “The Secret Service has been frozen in time in a world that’s become more dangerous, and inflation means they have to pay more for the people who work for them,” Lilly said.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/dana-milbank-the-white-house-fence-jumper-and-the-consequences-of-budget-cuts/2014/09/22/def1143a-429f-11e4-b437-1a7368204804_story.html

  11. And of course Issa will be calling an investigation for the pre-determined “Obama’s fault” for damages to The White House and the Secret Service inept response. This is right up there with Benghazi. Cut the State Department budget to the point where Embassy, Consulate and Mission security are reduced and then spend two years and millions of dollars insisting it’s “Obama’s fault.”

  12. I was just thinking that myself and wondering if the security would be as lax if there was a white person or a Republican in the White House.
    P.S. Don’t foget the “oath takers.”

  13. I thought that too. Since when are these guys worried about the safety of Obama?

    It seems like a plan they have. Cut funding for something and when that goes haywire, blame the President for the failure. Typical.

  14. This is the idiocy of the teahadist
    Congressman: Secret Service Should Install ADT Security At The White House
    A Republican congressman elicited laughs during a House Oversight Committee hearing into the Sep. 19th security breach at the White House when he suggested that the Secret Service install a home security system to protect the president’s residence from intrusions.

    “If someone opens a window or a window is broken at my house, I have an alarm,” Rep. John Mica (R-FL) explained in questioning Secret Service Director Julia Pierson about how an intruder was able to jump over the White House fence and run into the president’s residence before being apprehended by agents in the East Room.

    Mica then held up a sign displaying the logo for ADT, a Florida-based home security system.
    A Republican congressman elicited laughs during a House Oversight Committee hearing into the Sep. 19th security breach at the White House when he suggested that the Secret Service install a home security system to protect the president’s residence from intrusions.

    “If someone opens a window or a window is broken at my house, I have an alarm,” Rep. John Mica (R-FL) explained in questioning Secret Service Director Julia Pierson about how an intruder was able to jump over the White House fence and run into the president’s residence before being apprehended by agents in the East Room.

    Mica then held up a sign displaying the logo for ADT, a Florida-based home security system.
    A Republican congressman elicited laughs during a House Oversight Committee hearing into the Sep. 19th security breach at the White House when he suggested that the Secret Service install a home security system to protect the president’s residence from intrusions.

    “If someone opens a window or a window is broken at my house, I have an alarm,” Rep. John Mica (R-FL) explained in questioning Secret Service Director Julia Pierson about how an intruder was able to jump over the White House fence and run into the president’s residence before being apprehended by agents in the East Room.

    Mica then held up a sign displaying the logo for ADT, a Florida-based home security system.
    http://thinkprogress.org/home/2014/09/30/3573937/congressman-secret-service-should-install-adt-security-and-pointy-plants-to-protect-the-white-house/

    Wonder who he whores for?

  15. The result are coming in, Paul Ryan/GOP/TB sequestration economic bill:

    1) Secret Service WH intruders
    2) Benghazi
    3) VA Scandal

    And yet, people are anxious to re-elect them back in office.. GOTV 2014

  16. I firmly believe the Republicans are hoping someone gets in, and does something to the black man they can’t stand. If the family (children-wife) should by some horrible chance injured let alone the President, all Republicans should be lined up and shot.

  17. About all those death threats to the president – I have always thought that the hate talk and name calling by the republicans would stir up the FOX listener
    crowd to try to harm the president. By calling him a moslem, marxist, communist, socialist etc etc, also that he does not have a legitimate birth certificate, it has infuriated me from day one!
    I will always blame republicans, the party of hate!

  18. It seems to be like everyone who lives in the White House should have their gun ready to fire on any intruder. That is what the NRA espouses. If guns are okay in the school, then Malia, Sasha, Michelle, and Barack need weapons and training how to use it. If someone enters my house like the intruder did the White House, he would be history. There are few houses in the United States that would be breached like the White House. This is a home invasion and many homes that do not have Secret Service protection would have left the intruder for the dead wagon to pick up. How on earth was this permitted?

    I don’t care how much the budget was cut, there should not have affected protecting the life of the President. His security staff should not have been affected by the budget cuts. Some other department should have suffered like the Secret Service investigations of lost, stolen, or forged Social Security Checks or some other Secret Service function.

  19. Well,I think there are some forces within and the president better watch his back because smiling faces smiling faces tell lies and the Koch Monsters would pay ANY billion for assassination because that little ole billion is like a dime to them.

  20. USSS #1 priority is the safety of the President, Vice President and their families. Being down 550 people should not degrade that responsibility even a little because not every job the USSS involved with is protection. The fact that the Advance Team went to the CDC and obviously did no background checks which is totally against protocol because it allowed a private duty cop with three convictions for assault and battery to be armed in an elevator with the President. Epic fail by Advance Team. We had an AF Advance Agent in our office years ago who traveled abroad with the President and the checklist they went through was long. #1 was background checks even then for every person the President would come in contact with.

    The head of USSS looked to be worried more about saving her job then protecting the President. Not impressed at all with her testimony or lack of testimony truthfulness. Excuse about not releasing dogs was dumb on part of USSS – they don’t attack at random.

  21. I find it difficult to swallow any true outrage for the safety of President Obama from the gop when their every action for the last 6 years have been to strip him of his legitimacy and encouraged the beliefs of the ignorant that he is muslim, kenyan, a dictator, deserved impeachment, should be sued and oh yeah, black is not the color of the gop b.s. They have done more to endanger this president than anyone else. Pretty cheeky of them to show outrage at what they have had a hand in.

  22. This is what happen when repub. cong. slash & burn ALL FEDERAL AGENCY (SEQUESTRATION) for 4 years. Then persecuted the SS for wanting cutback tours to WH. (GOP s/d 2013)

    This is what happen when a former Homeland Security Secretary (Napolitano) is mocked & ignored, then persecuted by the media when she testified in front of cong. ‘that their a high up tick of substantial threats.’

    This is what happen when congress & the gun lobbyists give free range to every mentality ill person permission to have all the guns they want. Then hype up the paranoid factor.

    This is what happen when a congress ignored their constitutional duties & take months of full paid vacations. All b/c of their hate for this Pres.
    And finally, this is what happen when all the ppl who voted for this Pres., then fell asleep at the switch & prepare to repeat the same mistake again (2010-2014 midterm election). GOTV 2014

  23. I’m not buying it. In the face of reduced budgets, shouldn’t the Secret Service have planned accordingly? Better utilize what staff they have? Here’s a thought, how about locking the doors! Too stupid for words!

  24. California:

    I guess you have unlimited income, so you apparently have never had to adjust your expenditures to reduced income.

    Suppose the person whose job it was to lock the door, was let do due to budget cuts?

    You have simplistic answers without knowing the facts.

    Gene

  25. The question is whether these cuts impacted the protection detail. I think if the protection detail were impacted by the cuts, we would’ve heard about it before now but I could be wrong.

    Either way, a few of the lapses that have come to light do not seem to have come about because of cuts to the detail.

    Letting an armed contractor on an elevator with the President? Not reacting to and then downplaying the shots fired at the House? These are procedural problems.

    The one incident that *might* be due to lack of personnel is the recent one with the fence jumper. If the majority of the detail were on the other side of the House at the helicopter, then I can see how the other side might be under-staffed. But even that doesn’t excuse how far he got into that House.

    There’s something more going on here.

  26. A CIA/Mafia style of collusion that took out JFK is being planned and executed before our eyes. These breaches are mere foreplay for the actions that are planned by the religious right ammosexual/Teahadists.

    Shots fired into the White House? How is there not a secure perimeter to prevent such action?

    Where are the progessive loonies with guns when you need them? It only takes one bullet to swing the SCOTUS away from the Vatican. It only takes one pragmatist to realign the Koch brothers.

    We can start by showing up at the polls and doing the right thing. Replace Talipublicans in Congress with a Proctor-Silex Toaster (anything would be an improvement) and encourage those sitting to actually create legislation that will help the 99% that have been getting screwed since Reagan the Debilitator.

    I have seen war and am not a proponent of violence, but fighting back with words alone will not solve the long term issues we now face. Sometimes you have to fight crazy with crazy!

  27. Interesting.

    “Its funding for the current year is $2.56 billion, down $5 million from 2012”

    That’s 2 tenths of one percent or 0.20%.

    Any arm of the government has more fat than that. I really doubt that affected their effectiveness at all.

    An unlocked front door? There are basic procedures that are being missed. I doubt that the reduction of funds forced any reduction in the White House ranks. That just would have been another poor judgement.

  28. So the sequestration results in the White House being shot up and the President’s children being under threat? It did its job, then.

    What will the Far Right pull next? Does it depend on whether or not the president is still black?

  29. Sequestration was a sneaky way to starve the Administration on the budget and then blame them for not functioning well. The person or group behind it should be charged with treason.

  30. How absolutely predictable that the Republicans would try to blame Obama for The Sequester in spite of the FACT that as brought out by the article Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor were the “driving force” behind its concept and development.

    Partisan hypocrisy on parade!!

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