WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Jody Hice (R-GA), Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on National Security, today praised the full committee passage of 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.
“Times have changed, and no former U.S. president today is dependent solely on taxpayer subsidies to support their quality of life,” said Congressman Hice. “The modern post-presidency allows presidents to earn big bucks through book tours and speaking engagements, and this bill serves as a simple and fair method to reform presidential pensions. With strong bipartisan and public support, I’m glad the Presidential Allowance Modernization Act cleared the committee by unanimous consent, and I look forward to its consideration on the House Floor.”
The Presidential Allowance Modernization Act of 2019 would:
· Set the pension for former presidents at $200,000 per year;
· Limit the allowance 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 earns in excess of $400,000 in earned income;
· Increase the pension for the spouses of former presidents from $20,000 to $100,000 per year; 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.