In the News
Source: Ripon Advance
Nov 02 2017
Members of Congress would no longer be able to deduct their Washington, D.C. living expenses for tax purposes under legislation introduced Monday by U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) that targets congressional perks.
“Iowans sent me to Congress to make Washington, D.C., squeal and that includes eliminating handouts to politicians,” said Ernst.
The Stop Questionable, Unnecessary, and Excessive Allowances for Legislators Act, or SQUEAL Act, would end the current loophole that allows congressmen and senators to take the living expenses deduction of up to $3,000.
Under the current tax code, taxpayers may deduct unreimbursed business travel expenses when away from home on business. As a result, members of Congress may deduct living expenses for time out of their congressional district or state while in the Washington area, despite the significant amount of time they spend in Washington.
“To achieve the ultimate goal of lowering tax rates for hardworking families and businesses, Congress is going to have to eliminate various loopholes and deductions in our outdated tax code,” Ernst. “Congress should lead by example and offer up its own unnecessary tax break.”
Federal debt reduction has been a priority for Ernst. In September she introduced the Presidential Allowance Modernization Act of 2017, S. 1791. That measure takes into account the speaking fees, consultancy fees, board memberships and book profits enjoyed by former presidents by capping federal funds spent on staff, and other expenses for former presidents’ post-presidency office operations.