WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) applauded the U.S. House of Representative’s passage of the Presidential Allowance Modernization Act on Friday. The legislation reforms the system for providing former U.S. presidents certain benefits and perks. On June 21, 2016, H.R. 1777 passed the Senate after being modified to include provisions from Senator Ernst’s companion bill, S. 1411. The Presidential Allowance Modernization Act now heads to the President’s desk.
“With our nation drowning in $19 trillion in debt, we must tighten our belts and find ways to cut wasteful spending,” said Ernst. “The millions in expenditures and subsidies in presidential perks do not line up with the realities of post-presidential life. The Presidential Allowance Modernization Act removes the unnecessary and outdated presidential perks and better reflects the spending needs of our time.”
About Presidential Perks and the Presidential Allowance Modernization Act:
- The Presidential Allowance Modernization Act (S. 1411) was introduced by Senators Joni Ernst, Mark Kirk (R-IL), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) on May 21, 2015.
- Legislation passed the Senate on June 21, 2016.
- H.R. 1777, passed the House on July 8, 2016 and will now be sent to the President to be signed into law.
- According to the Congressional Research Service, post-presidency funding dates back to 1958 when Congress created the Former Presidents Act designed to “maintain the dignity” of former presidents and provide benefits to help cover costs associated with holding the office of the president.
- In fiscal year 2015, former U.S. presidents cost taxpayers more than $2.4 million in travel, office space, communications, personnel, and other expenses.
- The Presidential Allowance Modernization Act would:
- Set former presidents’ monetary allowance and pension at $200,000 each per year.
- Place reductions on perks if the former president earns more than $400,000 per year in income.
- Affirm that nothing in the legislation relates to the funding of the security or protection of a former president.