Summary: H.R.1656 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate with amendment(s) (07/13/2016)

Secret Service Improvements Act of 2016

(Sec. 2) This bill amends the federal criminal code to prohibit knowingly causing an autonomous or remotely operated vehicle or dangerous weapon to enter any restricted building or grounds so that it impedes or disrupts the orderly conduct of government business or official functions.

The punishment for such offense is a fine, imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or both, if during and in relation to the offense a deadly or dangerous weapon or firearm enters the restricted building or grounds.

The term "restricted buildings or grounds" is revised to include: (1) any restricted area of a building or grounds that the President or other person protected by the Secret Service has designated as a non-governmental property in accordance with the Presidential Protection Assistance Act of 1976, and (2) the airspace above any such restricted area.

(Sec. 3) The bill applies provisions prohibiting threats against former Presidents and others to threats against former Vice Presidents, their spouses, and their minor children.

(Sec. 4) The Secret Service shall increase the annual number of training hours for Secret Service officers and agents. The increased training must include the recommendations for training described in the United States Secret Service Protective Mission Panel Report, released on December 15, 2014.

(Sec. 5) The Secret Service is authorized to: (1) construct facilities at the Rowley Training Center necessary to improve the training of officers of the U.S. Secret Service Uniformed Division and agents of the Secret Service, and (2) hire the number of officers for the Uniformed Division and agents for the Presidential Protective Detail necessary to satisfy the staffing recommendations made by such report.

(Sec. 7) The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) shall devise and adopt improved procedures for identifying, evaluating, and addressing vulnerabilities in the security of the White House and threats to persons protected by the Secret Service, including threats posed by unmanned aerial systems or explosive devices.

(Sec. 8) The Secret Service shall devise and adopt improved procedures for: (1) evaluating ways in which technology may be used to improve the security of the White House and the response to threats to persons protected by the Secret Service, and (2) retaining evidence pertaining to such ways for an appropriate period.

(Sec. 9) The Secret Service: (1) shall evaluate the practicability of equipping agents and officers with additional non-lethal weapons, and (2) may evaluate the practicability of equipping agents and officers with weapons beyond those currently provided.

(Sec. 10) Provisions of the Presidential Protection Assistance Act of 1976 requiring specified congressional committee approval of expenditures above a specified amount by the Secret Service for securing any non-governmental property in addition to the one non-governmental property designated by each protectee are replaced with provisions requiring specified congressional committee notification of any such expenditures.

(Sec. 11) The bill requires the establishment of an Ethics Program Office in the Office of the Chief Counsel of the Secret Service to ensure compliance with the Ethics in Government Act of 1978.

(Sec. 12) The Government Accountability Office shall report to Congress with a review of this bill's implementation and an evaluation of the Secret Service's progress in implementing recommendations outlined in the panel report.