WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement announcing the creation of a blue ribbon commission to conduct a comprehensive review of the U.S. Secret Service (USSS):
“I am deeply concerned with the lack of transparency from the Secret Service regarding the recent security breach at the White House. While I recognize USSS is conducting an internal review, this will not fully address the incidents of the past. This latest episode adds to the growing list of failures from an agency plagued by operational challenges, cultural problems, and reporting difficulties. These incidents have led to an unfortunate reality where the Secret Service must re-establish their credibility.
“We need a comprehensive, independent assessment of the agency to ensure we have a Secret Service that can be trusted to fulfill and excel in its vital missions. As such, I will introduce legislation to establish a blue ribbon commission charged with conducting a full, top-to-bottom review of the agency. The commission will recommend specific steps the Secret Service can take in order to ensure it has the best possible leadership structure, internal policies, tools, and resources to meet its mission.”
A blue ribbon commission is a panel of experts established by Congress or another governing body to investigate or study a specific issue and provide independent findings and/or recommendations. Since 2011, the Secret Service has had numerous security breaches highlighted in the media, including: the 2011 shooting of the White House by Oscar Ortega-Hernandez; the 2012 Cartagena prostitution scandal; and the most recent security breach on September 19, 2014, when Omar Gonzalez scaled the north fence of the White House grounds and ran 70 yards into the unlocked front doors of the residence.