The U.S. Secret Service has reportedly spent about $60,000 on golf cart rentals alone this year to protect President Donald Trump during the dozen trips he's taken since the start of his presidency.
But the problem's much bigger than that.
The agency said yesterday it has only enough money to cover the cost of protecting President Trump and his family through the end of September. After that, the agency will hit a federally mandated cap on salaries and overtime unless Congress intervenes. If Congress does not lift the cap, roughly half of the Secret Service's agents would be working overtime without being paid.
"The Secret Service estimates that roughly 1,100 employees will work overtime hours in excess of statutory pay caps during calendar year 2017,” Director Randolph “Tex” Alles said in a statement. “To remedy this ongoing and serious problem, the agency has worked closely with the Department of Homeland Security, the Administration, and the Congress over the past several months to find a legislative solution.”
Alles confirmed that he is discussing a proposal to raise the combined salary and overtime cap for agents by $27,000 a year to $187,000 for the duration of President Trump's first term. The proposal––even if approved––would still leave 130 agents without their full compensation
The Secret Service has requested $60 million in additional funding for the next year to protect the Trumps.
"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.''
In a statement to CNN, he said, "This issue is not one that can be attributed to the current administration's protection requirements but, rather, has been an ongoing issue for nearly a decade due to an overall increase in operational tempo."
The White House said in a statement that Trump "is committed to ensuring the Secret Service and all of those protecting our country have all the resources they need. We are going to continue to work with Congress on this important issue, which requires their actions."
Judicial Watch estimated former President Barack Obama's travel expenses totaled nearly $97 million over eight years. President Trump has outspent Obama's eight years of spending in his first 120 days in office. 42 people have full time Secret Service protection in the Trump administration, a number which includes 18 members of the president's family.
Pre-presidency, Trump often criticized Obama for his travels.
We pay for Obama's travel so he can fundraise millions so Democrats can run on lies. Then we pay for his golf.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2014