Barack Obama railed against Wall Street during his entire tenure in the White House, only to turn around and charge $400,000 for a “speech” to the same people, but Congress has a little something for him up their sleeve.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz is no fan of the former White House occupant, and when he heard that Obama was charging so much for some empty words, he decided to re-introduce a bill from last year that would save taxpayers a lot of money. Called the Presidential Allowance Modernization Act, the legislation seeks to curb excesses from presidents at taxpayers’ expense once they leave office by taking away their pensions once they make a certain amount of money.
Seems fair, right?
To the average person it would, considering a half of a million dollars is a lot of money. However, despite the bill’s bipartisan support last year, it was unexpectedly vetoed by Obama…now we know why.
However, the new president likely won’t have any issues signing it.
From USA Today:
Last year, then-president Barack Obama vetoed a bill that would have curbed the pensions of former presidents if they took outside income of $400,000 or more.
So now that former president Barack Obama has decided to accept $400,000 for an upcoming Wall Street speech, the sponsors of that bill say they’ll reintroduce that bill in hopes that President Trump will sign it.
“The Obama hypocrisy on this issue is revealing,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and sponsor of the 2016 bill. “His veto was very self-serving.”
Chaffetz and Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, the sponsor of the companion Senate bill, say they will re-introduce the Presidential Allowance Modernization Act this month. The bill would cap presidential pensions at $200,000, with another $200,000 for expenses. But those payments would be reduced dollar-for-dollar once their outside income exceeds $400,000.
The issue isn’t a partisan one — or at least, it wasn’t last year. The bill passed both the House and Senate with no opposition, and no veto threat had come from the White House.
So when Obama’s veto came one Friday night last July — on the last day for him to sign or veto the legislation — it took lawmakers by surprise. It was the 11th of Obama’s 12 vetoes.
At the time, Obama argued that the bill would have “unintended consequences” and “impose onerous and unreasonable burdens” on former presidents by requiring them to immediately lay off staff and find new office space.
The bill was never called to the floor for a veto override; however, Chaffetz believes it will again get bipartisan support since one of its original co-sponsors was Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings.
“Cummings definitely supports the concept, and if we can work out the technical issues with the bill that arose late in the last Congress, we expect he would strongly support it again,” said spokeswoman Jennifer Hoffman Werner.
So take that, Obama. After eight years of fleecing the taxpayers, it looks like you’re not going to be able to have your cake and eat it too, as they say, since President trump had promised along the campaign trial to take a look at government pensions, especially those of Congress.
Besides, presidential pensions are a joke anyway, considering that we haven’t had a middle class president since the days the nation was founded by farmers and blacksmiths. So it only makes sense that their pensions would be restricted if they leave office and decide to go on speaking tours that pay ridiculous amounts of money.
Hell, I say charge them for their Secret Service protection too. Why stop with pensions alone?