The request was met with skepticism from lawmakers at Tuesday’s hearing.
Still smarting from a string of embarrassing security incidents, the Secret Service is asking Congress for $8 million to build a replica of the White House to better train its agents.
Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy made his pitch for the fake White House Tuesday before a House Appropriations subcommittee.
Currently, agents are trained at a parking lot in Beltsville, Md., about 20 miles from the White House — Clancy argued in written testimony that the facility is not enough.
It’s a “rudimentary, not-to-scale simulation of the north grounds of the White House, using bike barricades to act as the fencing,” he said. “There are no structures, vehicle gates, lighting, or other aides to enhance the training simulations at the JJRTC (training center).”
Clancy said the “mock-up,” which he wants to build on that Maryland site, would allow for a more “realistic” training environment. This would include mock-ups of the White House residence, East and West Wings, guard booths and surrounding grounds, he said. The $8 million would cover design and initial construction.