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 February 24, 2024

Key GOP Rep. votes against overtime pay for Secret Service agents

In recent legislative proceedings, Representative Scott Perry, a Republican from York, Pennsylvania, found himself at the center of controversy once again, this time for his stance on overtime pay for Secret Service agents.

Perry, known for his role in challenging Pennsylvania's 2020 election results, was among a group of 20 House Republicans who opposed a measure to provide overtime compensation to Secret Service agents during the 2024 and 2028 elections.

The legislation

The Secret Service, tasked with safeguarding both domestic and visiting foreign leaders, candidates, and nominees, as well as ensuring security at major national events, had been operating under an exception allowing overtime pay beyond traditional caps. However, this exception expired at the end of 2023, prompting efforts to extend it.

Representatives Mark E. Green, a Republican from Tennessee, and Bennie Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi, introduced the Overtime Pay for Protective Services Act to address this issue.

The legislation aimed to remove the overtime cap for Secret Service agents, recognizing the demanding and often stressful nature of their work.

A minority view

While the Senate passed the bill in December with support from the Federal Law Enforcement Officials Association, it faced resistance in the House.

Despite garnering broad bipartisan support and passing by a vote of 379 to 20, Perry and 19 other House Republicans voted against its passage.

The bill's advocates, including Representative Byron Donalds of Florida, emphasized the sacrifices made by Secret Service agents and officers in their dedication to public service.

Donalds highlighted the arduous nature of their work, often requiring long hours, including holidays and weekends. He argued that these individuals deserved fair compensation for their contributions to national security.

Drawing criticism

Perry's opposition to the bill drew criticism, particularly in light of his previous actions regarding federal law enforcement officers. In June 2021, Perry joined a small group of Republicans in voting against awarding Congressional gold medals to U.S. Capitol Police officers for their heroic actions during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

His stance on both issues raised questions about his commitment to supporting law enforcement and ensuring their fair treatment. Critics pointed to Perry's close ties to former Trump officials and his involvement in efforts to challenge the legitimacy of the 2020 election results as potential factors influencing his decisions.

In response to the criticism, Perry reportedly dismissed the vote on the Secret Service overtime pay as "garbage," according to CNN reporter Melanie Zanona.

His actions underscored broader debates within the Republican Party regarding support for law enforcement and adherence to democratic norms. As discussions continue, Perry's positions on these matters will likely remain under scrutiny.

Written By:
Dillon Burroughs

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