Our Secret Service has been known to be the toughest group of agents in the world; protecting our leaders at every moment of the day.
Now, the Secret Service does more than protect our nation’s leaders; they pay our own Vice President rent.
Joe Biden has collected more than $13,000 from the agency which protects him and his family. Since April, he has collected the rent for use of a rental cottage near the waterfront home he owns in a suburb of Wilmington, Delaware. The Secret Service recently moved into the cottage after the previous owner moved out.
Biden isn’t listed as vice president in federal purchasing documents, though. He is listed as a “vendor.” He is eligible to receive up to $66,000 by the time the government contract for the cottage expires in the fall of 2013.
Edwin Donovan, the agent in charge at the Secret Service’s Office of Government and Public Affairs in Washington, says the agency pays $2,200 in rent per month. It is the same amount a previous tenant had paid before moving out. Why does the Secret Service have to pay Biden for it? Biden will figure out a way to get money out of anyone, even the people that protect his life.
He says the close location provides a level of security for the Biden family. When asked if the Secret Service pays rent to the people it protects, he said, “It’s a rental property so we pay rent there.”
“He should be afforded every single protection available to him and his family, as should every vice president and president,” said Leslie Paige, who is the spokeswoman for the Washington-based Citizens Against Government Waste. I believe the rent is government waste!
“But this arrangement seems bizarre to me,” she added. “You’d think the vice president, who shepherded the deficit committee, would think twice about charging the Secret Service rent. Why would he need the money? I don’t get it.”
The VP’s mother lived in the cottage until January of last year, when she died. Biden then asked the Secret Service if they wanted to rent out the cottage. They declined, and Biden had a private tenant move into the cottage and pay rent. I wonder if the VP had his own mother pay rent to him. That would be greed.
When the tenant moved out in April, the SS approached Biden and wanted to rent it out. Now they do.
Last year, the Bidens listed $11,000 in rental income, according to their tax returns. There is no rental income listed in their 2009 tax returns.
The first purchase order to Biden, which was for $2,200, was signed April 1. The second, which was for $11,000, was signed June 2. The records both list Biden as the vendor under a section of the purchase order called “contractor information.” The purchase order says Biden is a sole proprietor with no employees and no annual revenue.
As the vendor on a fixed-price contract, Biden is technically now a federal contractor. Our VP is a contractor…..
Biden has been outspoken in calling for greater accountability in federal contracts. When Biden and President Obama started the “Campaign to Cut Waste” last month, Biden said, “The President and I are committed to changing the way government works and we are stepping up the hunt for misspent dollars.” Well, apparently, Biden’s not living up to his own words and views.
Though the overall rental contract for Biden has a total value of up to $66,000, the agreement was approved through more simplified receiving procedures that do not require bidding, as Biden and Obama both wanted to end abuse of no-bid contracting and now require all federal contract orders over $25,000 to have competitive bidding.
“To an outside observer who pays the taxes that help fund protective services, this might seem like an odd arrangement, but apparently there’s some law or administrative procedure that facilitates it,” said Pete Sepp, the vice president of the National Taxpayers Union in Alexandria, which monitors federal spending. Apparently, he monitored this federal spending well.
Mr. Sepp also had an idea on what Biden could do with the rent money he collects: “Every elected official can do the same thing average Americans can, which is to write a check to the Bureau of the Public Debt to bring down the national debt.” That’s something he could do.
I have a proposal: freeze all federal employee salaries for one year and give the money to bring down the national debt.
Good job, Mr. Biden. You have given government transparency a new name: government contracting that needs to be discovered by the people.
(Credit to the Washington Times for the great info.)