- The Washington Times - Friday, July 22, 2016

President Obama vetoed a measure late Friday that would have cut the allowances for former presidents such as Bill Clinton and, as of January, Mr. Obama himself.

In a message to Congress, Mr. Obama said the bill “would impose onerous and unreasonable burdens on the offices of former presidents.”

The White House said Mr. Obama vetoed the bill because it would “immediately terminate salaries and all benefits to staffers carrying out the official duties of former presidents — leaving no time or mechanism for them to transition to another payroll.”

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“This bill would also impair Secret Service’s ability to protect former presidents” by ending the General Services Administration’s role in managing operations, equipment and office space, the White House said. It said the measure would require the government to “immediately terminate leases, and remove furniture from offices of former presidents working to fulfilling their continued public service responsibilities.”

Mr. Obama consulted the offices of all four living former presidents, and the White House said the veto “is responsive to concerns they raised to us.”

“We are working with Congress on the technical fixes to resolve these issues,” the statement said. “If Congress provides these technical fixes, the president would sign the bill.”

The measure would limit the money that former presidents receive for office space, staff, and travel expenses to $200,000 per year. The allowance would be reduced further, dollar for dollar, for any income a former president earns over $400,000 a year.

The bill would not cut presidential pensions, currently $201,000 per year, or their Secret Service protective details.

In fiscal 2014, the government spent $450,000 for Mr. Clinton’s office space in New York, and $440,000 for the office space of former President George W. Bush.

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