Good afternoon folks - 

Iowans sent me to Congress with a mission to cut wasteful spending, and with our national debt exceeding $19 trillion, now more than ever, we must make Washington squeal. 

That's why each month, I research and identify areas of government waste, abuse and inefficiencies and give out the Squeal Award, which recognizes a Washington expense or program that has proven to be wasteful and must be cut.

Squeal Award: Former Wealthy Presidents' Perks

Under the Former Presidents Act, federal funding is provided to former presidents to cover costs associated with life after the White House. While this program was initially intended to "maintain the dignity" of former presidents, today's post-presidential life is filled with book deals and speaking fees and has proven to be financially lucrative for former presidents. Taxpayers should not be on the hook for wealthy former presidents’ lives to the tune of millions of dollars.

In fiscal year 2015, former U.S. presidents cost taxpayers more than $2.4 million in travel, office space, communications, personnel, and other expenses. What's worse, according to Politico, by election day this year, "taxpayers will have paid out more than $16 million to fund Bill Clinton's pension, travel, office expenses and even the salaries and benefits of staff at his family's foundation."

This is truly outrageous, particularly at a time when every citizen’s individual share of the national debt is nearly $60,000.

That's why I introduced the Presidential Allowance Modernization Act to reform this flawed benefit system by cutting many of these unnecessary perks, while ensuring the security given to former presidents and their families is not impacted.

While I was pleased my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in Congress joined me in sending this bill to President Obama's desk, I was extremely disappointed he decided to maintain the unsustainable status-quo and vetoed this legislation.

We must prioritize protecting taxpayers' hard-earned dollars over subsidizing wealthy former presidents' personal lives and careers. I realize this legislation may not be popular among former presidents, but reducing this spending is the right thing to do. I made a promise to Iowans that I would identify and cut waste, and I will continue that mission, no matter how unpopular it may be among the political class.

Because of this wasteful and unnecessary spending, I hereby present presidential perks with this month’s Squeal Award

Do you have an example of government waste or inefficiencies that I should take a look at? Send me an email by clicking here.

Thank you!