Obama $400,000 Speech Prompts Congress To Revisit Pension

In the latest attempt to show its disdain for the first African-American president, several Republican congressional leaders are reintroducing a bill that would curb the pensions of former presidents who take in income north of $400,000.

This is exactly the amount that Barack Obama will receive for speaking at a health care conference planned by investment firm Cantor Fitzgerald in September.

Last year, Obama vetoed the bill when it came across his desk, reports USA Today.

The Obama hypocrisy on this issue is revealing,” Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, sponsor of the 2016 bill, according to USA Today. “His veto was very self-serving.” It should be noted that Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., an African-American Congressman, and the top Democrat on Chaffetz’s committee, was a co-sponsor of the original bill.

USA Today reports:

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.

Obama’s given reasons for the veto included that it would “impose onerous and unreasonable burdens” and possibly have them lay off staff new office space. However, given that he reportedly received north of $60 million for his book deal, that probably wouldn’t be the case. The real question is, why do this after his presidency?

Under the Former Presidents Act, the nation’s five living former presidents — Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama — get a pension equal to the salary of a current cabinet secretary: $207,800 in 2017. They also get $150,000 to pay staff, and “suitable office space, appropriately furnished and equipped.”

But why would we ever expect Trump to sign this bill? Although some say he has an unhealthy obsession with Obama, this bill would affect his government-backed pension if he is able to leave office without being impeached.

And we know the one thing Trump loves more than a dig at Obama, is Donald Trump. Second to that would be his money.



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