Republican Senator Joni Ernst is renewing her push to cap the amount of money the federal government spends on former presidents. Ernst went on Fox News this morning to talk about her proposal.
“Our former presidents have book deals, they have speaking engagements and they are paid quite liberally in those areas,” Ernst said.
Ernst would not cut the pensions each living president is paid, but Ernst proposes a $200,000 limit on how much the federal government pays for other expenses, like office space and staff.
“The American taxpayer shouldn’t be subsidizing for these personal office spaces,” Ernst said on “Fox and Friends” this morning, “so it’s time we do something about that.”
Ernst tweeted a link to video of her TV appearance. Ernst is not calling for cutting the security budgets for the five former presidents. Secret Service protection is provided to former presidents and their spouses for life. The cost of that is kept secret.
The Congressional Research Office estimates that next year the federal government will spend $536,000 on office space in Washington, D.C. for former President Obama. Former President George W. Bush’s office space in Dallas will cost $518,000 next year. His father — former President George H.W. Bush — has office space in Houston and it will cost less than $300,000. Former President Jimmy Carter’s office is in Atlanta and the yearly bill will be $115,000.