On Wednesday morning, a 66-year-old man opened fired on members of Congress who were practicing for a charity baseball game in Alexandria, Virginia.

The man is said to have been against President Donald Trump, his administration and had even "singled out" House Majority Whip Steve Scalise on a Facebook post, who was actually shot in the hip during the attack.

Following the incident, many people throughout social media commented wondering how this happened and what role, if any, does the U.S. Secret Service provide for members of Congress.

"Since the U.S. Secret Service’s protective mission began in 1901, the agency’s jurisdiction has expanded to meet the needs of an evolving security environment," according to the Secret Service website.

Common knowledge is that the permanent "protectees", such as the President and Vice President, have special agents assigned to them on a permanent basis. But there are more people then just those two high government officials.

According to U.S. Code 3056, the secret service is authorized to protect the following people:

  1. The President of the United States, Vice President, President-elect and the Vice President-elect.
  2. Immediate families of the aforementioned officials.
  3. Former U.S. Presidents and their spouses for lifetime, the spouse's protection will be terminated if remarried.
  4. Children under 16-year-old of former Presidents
  5. Foreign states and governments visiting heads, also other foreign visitors performing special missions when the President deems such protection be provided.
  6. For not more than six months after the date a Vice President leaves office, the VP, their spouse and children under 16-years-old are authorized under protection
  7. Events designated as National Special Security Event (NSSE) by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Though protection for the President and Vice President is mandatory, all others entitled to Secret Service protection may choose to decline the security.