While Vice President Joe Biden has been conducting a week of meetings on efforts to curb gun violence that seemed to be focused on nothing but more gun control, President Obama signed a law Thursday that ensures lifetime protection for himself and his family, as well as the safety of future presidents.
The legislation signed by the president was written by Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina. According to the press secretary’s office, the law “restores lifetime Secret Service protection of former Presidents who did not serve as President prior to January 1, 1997, and their spouses; and provides for protection of all children of former Presidents until they become 16 years of age.”
The “Former Presidents Protection Act of 2012” makes changes to a law written in the mid-1990s that imposes a 10-year limit on Secret Service protection for former presidents. President George W. Bush is the first former president affected.
When the original law was written, lawmakers defended it by saying it would save the government millions of dollars, and argued that former presidents retained the option to hire private security firms, like Richard Nixon did after he opted out of Secret Service protection in 1985.
The “Former Presidents Protection Act” passed in both the House and the Senate with ease.
But some analysts view the law as a flagrant example of the double standard the political elite maintains for itself and the average American citizen.
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Photo of President Barack Obama flanked by Secret Service agents: AP Images