Iowa Senator aims to reduce government waste with two bills

Republican Iowa Senator Joni Ernst has written two bills that she says will reduce wasteful government spending.

The Presidential Allowance Modernization Act proposal would limit the amount of money U.S. presidents can make after they leave office.

"What we are limiting is the expenditures that our former presidents use to support personal staff, travel allowances, phone bills, things of that nature," Ernst told FOX Business' Stuart Varney on Wednesday.

Ernst explained that in the age of movie and book deals, former presidents are able to cash in without help from their former constituents. The bill would incrementally reduce the amount of taxpayer-funded support presidents receive if they make more than $400,000.

The second bill the Iowa Congresswoman has introduced is the Billion Dollar Boondoggle Act. It’s a measure that would require the institutions running federally-funded projects to explain their process to Congress if the project goes beyond five years its original deadline, or costs at least a billion dollars more than what was originally planned.

"We are taking aim, raising awareness, at those projects that are way over budget and those that have simply gone way over the time they were to be completed,” Ernst said on “Varney & Co.


That includes the California bullet train, a federal project recently criticized by President Trump. Ernst says the high-speed rail project is 13 years overdue and has cost taxpayers $44 billion.