- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight committee, argued Tuesday that the recent White House security breach indicates “a broader problem with the Secret Service.”

“This, ladies and gentleman, is not a Democratic issue. This is not a Republican issue,” said the Maryland congressman, Mediaite reported. “This is an American issue. This is also an issue of national security.”

Secret Service Director Julia Pierson appeared before the committee Tuesday, giving her first public statements since an Army veteran, armed with a knife, scaled a White House perimeter fence and made it all the way to the mansion’s East Room before being apprehended.

“What happened is unacceptable and will never happen again,” she said.

Mr. Cummings said the Sept. 19 breach was particularly disturbing because the suspect, Omar Gonzalez, had been stopped by authorities prior to the incident and was found with “a small arsenal” of weapons and directions to the White House, USA Today reported.

Mr. Cummings also said reports that personnel in the agency have held back in raising security concerns show critical shortcomings in the Secret Service.

“Something is awfully wrong with that picture,” he said, Mediaite reported.

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