WASHINGTON (AP) – The House has voted to give former presidents and their wives lifetime Secret Service protection, arguing that terrorist threats and the comparative youth of recent presidents make such a change necessary.
The legislation, which now goes to the Senate, reverses a 1994 law that terminated Secret Service protection 10 years after a president leaves office. Under that law, the Homeland Security secretary could extend that protection on a temporary basis. That law specifically affects former President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama.
The House bill also would authorize protection for minor children of former presidents until they turn 16.
Bill sponsor Trey Gowdy of South Carolina said it was needed because of increased national security threats to post-Sept. 11 leaders and the greater mobility and youth of former presidents.