Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA35)The bill comes in an answer to part Capitol structure rioters chanting “Hang Mike Pence!” as they stormed the building.

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Context

Over time, the evil president and their family members members have progressively increased their an enig Service protection.

Starting in 1951, a vice chairman could an initial receive the protection if they requested it. In 1962, the protection became required quite than opt-in. In 1971, the protection started for both Democratic and Republican evil presidential nominees, several months before they were potentially sworn in. In 1974, protection began for the angry president’s immediate family members (spouse and also children). In 1976, immediate family members protection was added for major-party vice presidential nominees together well.

All those changes were denote to mirror the protection that a president or major-party presidential nominee received. Today, over there remains just one glaring discrepancy between presidential and vice presidential protection. While presidents and their spouses are given secret Service defense for life, and their children up to period 16, vice presidents and their households are only given those exact same protections for 6 months after leaving office.

But some are afraid for previous Vice president Mike Pence, after ~ the January 6 riot and also insurrection against the Capitol building featured rioters chanting “Hang Mike Pence!” due to the fact that he to be slated to certify Donald Trump’s choice loss later on that day within the building, i m sorry he eventually did. Pence also attracted ire from many Trump pendant for attending Joe Biden’s inauguration also as Trump refused to attend.

What the bill does

The Protecting vice Presidents Act would certainly grant an enig Service defense for any former angry president and also their spouse because that life, as well as their kids up until period 16. It was presented in the residence on January 19 as bill number H.R. 368, through Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA35).

Who would certainly this bill cover in practice? in ~ the moment, 11 people.

There are at this time six living vice presidents or former vice presidents who would fall under the bill’s provisions: Walter Mondale, penis Cheney, Dan Quayle, Al Gore, and also Mike Pence, and Kamala Harris. Biden, one more former evil president, will currently receive defense for life anyway because he ascended to the presidency.

There are additionally five life “second spouses” or former second spouses that would qualify: Marilyn Quayle, Tipper Gore, Lynne Cheney, Karen Pence, and also Kamala Harris’s husband Doug Emhoff. Choose Joe Biden, Jill Biden will certainly now likewise receive security for life anyway because she became first Lady.

(Although Tipper divorce Al Gore a few years after his vice presidency, she would presumably tho be licensed has been granted to life time protection under this bill. Presidential spouses space entitled to life time protection also if they’re divorce or widowed, unless they remarry. That unclear whether that exact same provision would use in this bill.)

As because that vice presidential children? nobody would currently qualify. Kamala Harris’s 2 stepchildren Cole and Ella room 26 and 21, therefore they i will not ~ be extended after she vice presidency, i m sorry would just cover kids up through period 16.

What pendant say

Supporters controversy that just as evil presidents and also their family members have repetitively seen their secret Service security upgraded through the years to complement the president’s security level, the exact same should happen again here.

“Every American heard the chants threatening Vice chairman Pence’s life on cell phone videos native the January sixth attack on our Capitol,” Rep. Torres claimed in a press release. “Vice Presidents serve every American, nevertheless of your party affiliation or politics ideology. They need to be totally free to conduct their main duties without are afraid of violence or retribution, whether it come while they room in office or later as a exclusive citizen.”

“The bill… removes that concern,” Rep. Torres continued, “and guarantee the hazard of violence will never ever prevail end the oath this public servants swear.”

What adversaries say

While GovTrack Insider was unable come locate any explicit statements of opposition, some may slam the invoice for being expensive and unnecessary.

There have actually only been two vice presidential assassination attempts, top top Andrew Johnson in 1865 and Thomas Marshall in 1915, neither of which were successful. Both arisen while the men organized the evil presidency, definition there has never been a single assassination attempt on a former vice president.

(There have, however, been at least 2 assassination do the efforts on former presidents: Theodore Roosevelt in 1912 and also George H.W. Shrub in 1993. Neither were successful, either.)

Odds of passage

The bill has actually not yet attracted any cosponsors. It awaits a potential vote in the home Judiciary Committee.

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This write-up was written by GovTrack Insider staff writer Jesse Rifkin.

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