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On Presidents’ Day, Ernst Pushes Bills to End Taxpayer Funded Presidential Campaigns, Cap Presidential Perks

On Presidents’ Day, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), known as the Senate’s leading foe of government waste, is pushing two of her bills to protect taxpayer dollars by ending welfare for politicians and unnecessary perks for future former presidents.

Ernst is reintroducing the Eliminating Leftover Expenses for Campaigns from Taxpayers (ELECT) Act, which would end a federal program used to fund presidential campaigns and redirect the more than $400 million in the fund to pay down the federal deficit. Ernst is also leading bipartisan legislation to put limits on taxpayer-funded benefits for future former U.S. presidents, including expenses for their travel, personal staff, office space, and communications after they leave office.

 “Our Founding Fathers recognized the dangers of massive federal spending and national debt, but never could they have imagined the levels at which we borrow today—with a debt now exceeding $30 trillion. Since I came to the Senate, I’ve been sounding the alarm on this spending crisis. This Presidents’ Day, I can think of no better way to honor the likes of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison than by making these commonsense reforms that will save taxpayer dollars, help pay down our national debt, and end welfare programs for politicians and unnecessary perks for future former presidents,” said Senator Ernst.

 The Eliminating Leftover Expenses for Campaigns from Taxpayers (ELECT) Act:

The ELECT Act would eliminate the Presidential Election Campaign Fund and redirect the money remaining in the fund to reducing the deficit.

 Currently, candidates for president may seek public funding provided by federal tax dollars in exchange for agreeing to limit private donations and overall campaign spending. A check-off on individual income tax returns allows taxpayers to direct $3 from their federal tax bills to this program, the Presidential Election Campaign Fund.

 The Presidential Allowance Modernization Act would:

·       Provide future former presidents with a pension of $200,000 and a monetary allowance of $200,000 a year.

·       Reduce a future former president’s annual monetary allowance dollar-for-dollar by each dollar of income a former president earns in excess of $400,000.

·       Affirm that nothing in the legislation relates to the funding of the security or protection of a future former president.

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