Tester: Cut wasteful slush fund for former House Speakers
(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester is once again going after wasteful government spending, this time targeting a slush fund used by Speakers of the House after their tenures in office are over.
Tester is introducing a bill that will repeal a taxpayer-funded expense account available to former Speakers of the House. The taxpayer funds are available for office space and furnishing, congressional mailings, and staff assistants.
Tester’s bill could save up to $10 million over ten years.
“We need to take all responsible measures to cut spending and tackle our deficit,” said Tester. “This is one more common-sense step we can take to hold our elected officials accountable to hard-working taxpayers in Montana and nationwide.”
Speakers of the House of Representatives can claim nearly $1 million per year for up to five years after they leave office. Funds are not allowed for former Speakers who have been expelled from the House.
Tester, who voted for a balanced budget amendment and backs a responsible plan to cut debt and spending, backed legislation in 2011 that would have prevented Congress and the President from receiving a salary in the event of a shutdown, saying “Members of Congress don’t deserve a paycheck if they can’t do their job.”
Tester also recently backed bipartisan legislation that blocks any U.S. foreign assistance to Pakistan until the Asian nation releases an informant who helped the United States locate Osama bin Laden.