- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Federal lawmakers from both parties say they are eager to get straight answers from Secret Service Director Julia Pierson about an intruder’s ability to breach the White House and make it to the East Room before he was captured.

The director is slated to testify before the House oversight committee Tuesday morning.

“I think both Republicans and Democrats want to make sure our president is protected, and the first family,” Rep. Mark Meadows, North Carolina Republican, told MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown.”

The Secret Service is under the microscope after the accused intruder, Omar J. Gonzalez, hopped a White House fence Sept. 19 and made his way through the mansion’s first floor. A Washington Post report said an alarm box at the entrance had been muted at the request of building staff.

Scrutiny of the Secret Service comes after a gunman, who was later captured and sentence to a lengthy prison term, shot at second-floor windows of the White House in 2011. It took agents several days to notice the building had been hit.

Mr. Meadows said the “early results” show there is not a funding problem at the Secret Service.

“Not releasing the dogs was not a funding problem. Not subduing the attacker was not a funding problem,” he told MSNBC.

But Rep. Matt Cartwright, Pennsylvania Democrat, told MSNBC the agency has complained it is understaffed and needs about more 100 agents.

He said he is interested in a real fact-finding mission by House lawmakers, yet he fears Tuesday’s session will devolve into the type of “political bomb-throwing” hearings he’s seen in recent years on the oversight panel.

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