Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Jody Hice (R-GA), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on National Security, and Committee on Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) yesterday introduced H.R. 1496, the Presidential Allowance Modernization Act of 2019. This bipartisan legislation amends the Former Presidents Act of 1958 to streamline the wide range of benefits provided to former presidents by limiting their future pensions, updating the annuities of surviving spouses, and reducing the allowances provided for post-presidential expenditures.
“In recent years, former presidents have had no shortage of lucrative opportunities upon leaving office,” said Congressman Jody Hice. “Despite this, taxpayers are still footing the bill for the official expenditures of former Commanders-in-Chief. The Presidential Modernization Act modifies the pensions provided to future former presidents and their spouses by taking into account the modern-day financial realities realized after leaving office while keeping in place funding for security and protections needed in today’s world.”
“This legislation would end government payments to former presidents who often earn substantial income from post-presidential work,” said Chairman Cummings. “History shows that former presidents do very well financially after they leave office, making it very unlikely that they need taxpayer funded office allowances to make ends meet.”
The Presidential Allowance Modernization Act of 2019 would:
· Set the pension for former presidents at $200,000 per year;
· Limit the cost to the taxpayer for expenses such as office space and leases, furniture, and supplies, as well as staff salaries to a lump monetary sum of $200,000 per year;
· Reduce the monetary allowance dollar-for-dollar if a former president makes in excess of $400,000 in earned income; and
· Maintain the funding for the security and protection of a former president or a family member.
Companion legislation, S. 580, was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) on February 26, 2019. The full bill text can be found here.