Secret Service scandal demonstrates 'pattern of behavior,' GOP lawmaker says

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif. National Journal photo

Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said the Secret Service agents accused of misconduct in Colombia, along with other recent government scandals, demonstrate a "pattern of behavior" in government.

“It's likely it's a pattern of behavior that is costing the American people hundreds of millions, perhaps billions of dollars," Issa said on CBS’s This Morning on Monday. "And [it's] setting a bad example for the rest of the federal workforce.”

Issa said one major problem the Secret Service faces is that the agents allegedly brought a prostitute into a secure zone, which could compromise security.

“Whether you’re a Secret Service, uniform service, or plain clothes, low-ranking or high-ranking, compromising somebody in a way in which they can be blackmailed in the future is a serious threat for those who hold high clearance and are counted on for the safety and security of our most important packages,” he said.

Issa also took issue with the cost of Secret Service protection at the Summit of the Americas, the weekend-long event at which the incident took place, and referenced the upcoming committee hearing on reports that the General Services Administration spent $823,000 on a Las Vegas conference. Issa said that both incidents reflect a pattern of wasteful spending by the government.

“We've got to in Congress not just talk about cutting budgets,” Issa said. “We've got to show how you can really bring austerity, reasonable austerity, to the federal workforce.”

He said his committee will work to ensure that the Secret Service investigation is thorough and that corrective action is taken.

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