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

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Context

Over time, the angry president and also their household members have gradually increased their mystery Service protection.

Starting in 1951, a vice chairman could first receive the security if they asked for it. In 1962, the protection ended up being required rather than opt-in. In 1971, the protection began for both Democratic and also Republican vice presidential nominees, several months prior to they were perhaps sworn in. In 1974, protection began for the vice president’s immediate family (spouse and also children). In 1976, immediate household protection was added for major-party evil presidential nominees as well.

All those changes were instituted to mirror the protection that a president or major-party presidential nominee received. Today, over there remains just one glaring discrepancy in between presidential and vice presidential protection. If presidents and their spouses room given mystery Service protection for life, and also their children up to age 16, evil presidents and also their households are only provided those exact same protections for 6 months ~ leaving office.

But some fear for previous Vice president Mike Pence, after the January 6 riot and insurrection against the Capitol structure featured rioters chanting “Hang Mike Pence!” since he to be slated to certify Donald Trump’s choice loss later on that day within the building, i beg your pardon he at some point did. Pence also attracted ire from plenty of Trump supporters for attending Joe Biden’s inauguration also as Trump refuse to attend.

What the bill does

The Protecting vice Presidents Act would grant an enig Service security for any type of former angry president and also their spouse for life, and their kids up until period 16. That was presented in the residence on January 19 together bill number H.R. 368, by Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA35).

Who would certainly this invoice cover in practice? at the moment, 11 people.

There are at this time six life vice presidents or previous vice presidents that would autumn under the bill’s provisions: Walter Mondale, cock Cheney, Dan Quayle, Al Gore, and also Mike Pence, and Kamala Harris. Biden, an additional former evil president, will now receive security for life anyway since he ascended to the presidency.

There are likewise 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. Favor Joe Biden, Jill Biden will certainly now also receive protection for life anyway due to the fact that she became very first Lady.

(Although Tipper divorced Al Gore a couple of years after his evil presidency, she would certainly presumably quiet be licensed has been granted to lifetime protection under this bill. Presidential spouses space entitled to life time protection even if they’re divorce or widowed, uneven they remarry. It’s unclear even if it is that exact same provision would use in this bill.)

As because that vice presidential children? no one would currently qualify. Kamala Harris’s 2 stepchildren Cole and also Ella are 26 and 21, therefore they wouldn’t be spanned after she vice presidency, i beg your pardon would only cover children up through age 16.

What supporters say

Supporters argue that simply as angry presidents and also their family members have continuously seen their an enig Service protection upgraded through the years to enhance the president’s defense level, the same should occur again here.

“Every American heard the chants threaten Vice chairman Pence’s life on mobile videos indigenous the January 6th attack on ours Capitol,” Rep. Torres said in a push release. “Vice Presidents serve every American, regardless of your party affiliation or politics ideology. They should be complimentary to conduct their main duties without fear of violence or retribution, even if it is it comes while they room in office or later on as a personal citizen.”

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

What enemies say

While GovTrack Insider was unable to locate any type of explicit explanation of opposition, part may criticize the bill for gift expensive and also unnecessary.

There have only been two vice presidential assassination attempts, ~ above Andrew Johnson in 1865 and also Thomas Marshall in 1915, no of which were successful. Both developed while the men held the evil presidency, an interpretation there has actually never been a solitary assassination attempt on a former vice president.

(There have, however, been at least 2 assassination attempts on former presidents: Theodore Roosevelt in 1912 and George H.W. Bush in 1993. Neither to be successful, either.)

Odds the passage

The bill has not however attracted any type of cosponsors. That awaits a potential vote in the house Judiciary Committee.

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This post was written by GovTrack Insider staff writer Jesse Rifkin.

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