Obama vetoes measure to curtail post-presidential expenses

Legislation intended to curb the expenses of former presidents was vetoed by President Obama on Friday with the White House returning the bill to Congress demanding it “fix” aspects of the bill for executive approval.

With his veto, the president said the Presidential Allowance Modernization Act of 2016 “would immediately terminate salaries and all benefits to staffers carrying out the official duties of former Presidents.

Designed to reduce the burden on taxpayers, the bill set a ceiling at $400,000 yearly for pension and expenses for former presidents.  The measure would have boosted the annual disbursements for a surviving presidential spouse from $20,000 to $100,000 annually.

Additionally, the measure would have reduced by $1 for every dollar a former chief executive earns above the $400,000 maximum.

The White House contends the House measure would terminate the role of the General Services Administration, the agency which assists in managing the functions of ex-presidents, and shift the burden of management and logistics to the Secret Service.

With former President George Bush and Bill Clinton earning millions of dollars in speaking fees and book deals since leaving office, excessive presidential expenses and, by extension, presidential pensions, have become a point of contention for Congress.

The federal government is slated to fund over $3.8 million for the expenses and pensions for former presidents Carter, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Clinton, up 17 percent from 2015.

In 2015 alone, George W. Bush took slightly over $1 million; former President Jimmy Carter received the least at $430,000.  

 

[RT News] [Photo courtesy NPR]