WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – How much money should our commander in chief be making post-presidency?
One Georgia lawmaker said not as much as they’re making now.
“It will save millions of dollars for the American taxpayers,” Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA-10) said.
Hice wants his House colleagues to cut back on the post-presidential perks an act from 1958 set-up pensions for presidents. But Hice said now times have changed.
“Really all the presidents now when they leave they have book deals, they have speaking fees, they literally are able to make millions of dollars.”
Hices’ Presidential Allowance Modernization Act of 2019 really focuses on just that, the extra allowance the president makes post service.
The bill limits the allowance for expenses such as office space, furniture, supplies, and staff salaries to a sum of $200,000 per year.
Last year Congress approved an average of $1 million per past president for those expenses alone.
Hice’s bill passed through the house just last week and experts in Washington expect it to go through in the senate.
“Why should taxpayers support them personally? And I think it’s that kind of common-sense argument that gives it bipartisan support,” Matt Dallek, a professor at The George Washington University.
While Dallek said saving taxpayer dollars may be the biggest reason for change, he said it also could have to do with longevity of our leaders.
“In the case of Jimmy Carter you’re talking about decades. Perceptions matter and the perception is these former presidents don’t need the money taxpayers shouldn’t be supporting them.”
Hice said he’s worked with every former president to fine-tune the bill.
He expects President Trump to sign it if it makes it to his desk.
Two things that won’t be cut back, funding for security and spouses’ salaries.
Pensions for the spouses of former presidents will actually go from $20,000 to $100,000.