President Obama has signed a law that will give himself and all presidents Secret Service protection for life, reversing a law passed during the Clinton administration that gave former presidents a security detail for only 10 years after leaving office.
The new law signed on Wednesday also gives former first ladies lifetime security details (unless they divorce their former presidential spouse). It also affords all presidential children a security detail until they are 16 years of age.
The now nullified law passed in 1994 was originally presented as a way to save millions of dollars to the federal treasury. It was postulated that former presidents would have enough money of their own to hire private security services. Former President Nixon did this when he decided to forego his government-supplied Secret Service detail in his post presidential years. The 1994 law was to take effect for all presidents elected after 1997, so of the surviving presidents only George W. Bush and Barack Obama would have been affected.
The new law sailed through both houses of Congress and had massive bi-partisan support.