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Congressional Watchdogs Consider Removing Secret Service from Homeland Security Department

secret service photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Hoping to address low morale and security blunders at the Secret Service, some congressional watchdogs are proposing to limit the agency’s role of protecting the president, Time reports.

Perhaps most important, the proposal includes removing Secret Service from the Department of Homeland Security, which has struggled as a giant bureaucracy.

“Long-term, the 60,000 foot view, there are some who are very critical of the switch that the Secret Service went through after 9/11,” says Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a top member of the House Oversight Committee. “That seems to have changed the dynamic and made it much more political as opposed to security-driven. And I think long-term that’s something we might explore is the structure of having it within Homeland Security.”

The discussions come after the resignation of Director Julia Pierson and the release of a study that showed Homeland Security employees had the lowest morale of all 19 large agencies surveyed.

“I think the counterfeiting role really probably belongs in Treasury,” says Connolly. “The protection and investigation role I think might make sense in DHS but I do think we have to have a thorough review about the missions and whether they continue to make sense. Are they compatible? Do they detract from one another?”

More mild reforms call for increasing funding and the number of employees.

“I don’t know if moving it out of DHS [would work],” says Mickey Nelson, a 28 year-veteran of the Secret Service who retired in 2012. “Then where would you move it, logically speaking? But I think that should be part of the review.”


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