POLL: Should Barack Obama Lose His Presidential Pension?


Do you think that Barack Obama should lose his presidential pension because he is set to bring in millions of dollars in book sales and speaker fees this year?

Congress may seek to cut the pension of Barack Obama following his decision to accept a $400,000 fee for an upcoming speech to Wall Street executives.

During his time in the White House, Mr Obama vetoed a bill that would have capped the retirement funds of former presidents should they accept large sums of outside income.

Now that Mr Obama himself meets those criteria, Republican sponsors of the bill have said they will revive the legislation and hope that President Donald Trump signs it into law.

“The Obama hypocrisy on this issue is revealing,” Jason Chaffetz, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and sponsor of the 2016 bill told USA Today. “His veto was very self-serving.”

Mr Chaffetz, and Jodi Ernst, a Republicam senator from Iowa, who sponsored the companion bill in the Senate, have announced that they will re-introduce the Presidential Allowance Modernization Act this month.

The bill would caps presidential pensions at $200,000, plus the same for expenses. But those payments would be reduced dollar-for-dollar once their outside income exceeds $400,000.

When it was first introduced last year, Mr Obama vetoed the legislation on the basis that it would force former presidents to fire their support staff.

Mr Obama said that capping the expenses at this amount would cripple the initiatives of several former presidents, forcing them to lay off staff, and cancel office leases.

Currently the General Services Administration must provide “suitable office space, appropriately furnished and equipped”.

The total cost of maintaining and staffing those offices currently ranges from $430,000 for former president Jimmy Carter to $1.1 million for former president George W. Bush, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service cited by USA Today.

The 2017 spending bill approved by Congress this week contained nearly $3.9 million to fund all the former presidents until the 30th September.

Mr Trump has not commented on the legislation. But during the campaign, he said he’d take a close look at pensions for elected officials.


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