Congressional leaders are expected to discuss with President Ford on Friday a White House proposal to give Secret Service protection to Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger, Vice President Rockefeller and possibly Treasury Secretary William E. Simon for up to six months after they leave office on Jan. 20.
The President proposed legislation to allow such protection at a Tuesday meeting with key members of Congress, after Secret Service had reported that there were treats against Kissinger. The State Department declined to specify those dangers and threats but spokesman Robert L. Funseth, asked whether Kissinger wanted the protection, said, "I believe he would like to keep living after Jan. 20 and therefore would not object."
Sen. Henry L. Bellmon (R-Okla.) said yesterday that a group of Senate and House members, some on the Appropriations committees that must provide the funds, others on related legislative committees, had met Tuesday with the President to discuss the matter. The meeting was initiated by Ford.
Bellmon said senators present included himself, and Lawton Chiles (D-Fla.) from Appropriations. Chairman Russell B. Long (D-La.) and Carl Curtis (R-Neb.) from Finance which has jurisdiction over the treasury, of which the Secret Service is a part, and House Appropriations member Tom Steed (D-Okla.), House Judiaciary Chairman Peter W. Rodino (D-N.J.) and House Government Operations Chairman Jack Brooks (D-Tex.), and several others.
Bellmon said he, Long, Curtis, Brooks and Steed had given favorable responses, and, as best he could remember, the others hadn't made commitments. "If they bring us a bill allowing the President to extend coverage for six months to anyone now covered, I'd agree to it," Bellmon said.
The officials involved now have protection, but it would expire when they leave office.
Senate Monority Leader Howard H. Baker (Tenn.) said he expected the matter to come up at a Friday meeting with the President.