Senator Ernst Continues Push to Cap Presidential Perks

ā€œā€¦Iā€™m calling on my colleagues to support this bipartisan bill, which would save taxpayer dollars that can used for more worthwhile causes, like our military.ā€

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, delivered remarks from the Senate floor urging her colleagues to support the inclusion of her bipartisan Presidential Allowance Modernization Act, legislation to reform the outdated system that provides former U.S. Presidents with post-presidency benefits, in the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Watch Senator Ernst’s full remarks here or by clicking on the image below.

 

Below are Senator Ernst’s remarks as delivered:

“Madame President,

“I came down to the floor to make amendment #2400 pending. But it is my understanding that we’re almost at an agreement on the hotline.

“This bill has cleared committee by voice vote and my colleagues on the Republican side for the hotline. However, my minority counterparts have had months to look at this bill, but it remains held up on the hotline.

“The bill passed the House with unanimous support and has been included in the House NDAA bill.

“I’m calling on my colleagues across the aisle to clear this bill, or else I will fight for a vote on it in the NDAA.

“My legislation, the Presidential Allowance Modernization Act, would establish a cap on former presidents' monetary allowances, which are currently unlimited and fund resources like office space, staff salaries, cell phone bills and more.

“It would then reduce the allowance dollar-for-dollar by each dollar of income a former president earns in excess of $400,000.

“The national debt is over $20 trillion – we cannot afford to generously subsidize the perks of former presidents to the tune of millions of dollars.

“The reality is that post-presidential life already provides fruitful opportunities on its own, with former presidents raking in tens of millions of dollars from book deals, speaking engagements and more.

“Again, I’m calling on my colleagues to support this bipartisan bill, which would save taxpayer dollars that can used for more worthwhile causes, like our military.

“And I thank the Senior Senator from Missouri for cosponsoring this legislation and making it a bipartisan bill.

“Thank you Madame President.”

Senator Ernst first introduced the bipartisan and bicameral Presidential Allowance Modernization Act on May 21, 2015. After passing both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives with unanimous support, it was ultimately vetoed by President Obama. Senator Ernst reintroduced the legislation in September 2017.