President Barack Obama will have Secret Service protection for the rest of his life. So will former President George W. Bush. That's because President Obama on Thursday signed a bill granting presidents lifetime Secret Service protection, USA Today reports
The move reversing a 1990s law that limited post-presidency security to ten years. The Former Presidents Protection Act of 2012 restores lifetime protection for presidents and spouses who served after Jan. 1, 1997, and gives the children of former presidents protection until age 16.
A sponsor of the bill, Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, says increased terrorist threats and the greater mobility and youth of former presidents made the change necessary. The new law also authorizes Secret Service protection for the children of former presidents until they turn 16.
Richard Nixon is the only former president to decline Secret Service protection. He did so in 1985, about a decade after being forced from office by the Watergate scandal. The move was aimed at saving the federal government money, he said.
Via USA Today.