After 17 years, the House has a new Sergeant-at-Arms.
Lawmakers unanimously voted this evening to install Paul Irving as the chamber’s chief law enforcement officer, the 37th to serve in the post.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) nominated Irving last month to replace Bill Livingood, whose resignation was read on the floor immediately proceeding Irving’s swearing-in.
“It has been a privilege and an honor,” Livingood wrote. “If I can ever be of service in the future, please do not hesitate to call.”
Boehner also performed Irving’s brief swearing-in ceremony in the well of the House. Applause broke out among the Members as they rushed forward to shake Irving’s hand.
Like Livingood, who is stepping down to pursue other opportunities, Irving is a veteran of the Secret Service.
After joining the agency in 1983, Irving went on to serve in a supervisory position on the presidential protective detail and as the deputy assistant director of the Secret Service for Congressional affairs and assistant director for government and public affairs.
In 2003, Irving served in the Executive Office of the President as a member of the White House transition team that helped initiate the Department of Homeland Security. He retired from the Secret Service in 2008 as assistant director for administration.
Irving’s tenure as House Sergeant-at-Arms begins tonight, but he has been on Capitol Hill for the past few weeks shadowing Livingood and learning the ropes.
“I believe the transition will be seamless,” Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terrance Gainer told Roll Call last week. “I’ve known [Irving] over the years, and I think [leadership] made a very good decision.”
Irving has been sworn in just in time for President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Jan. 24, when he will be tasked with proclaiming the famous words: “Mr. Speaker, the president of the United States!”