Two key House Democrats will roll out legislation Thursday that would revoke a lifetime pension and other taxpayer-funded perks from former presidents who are convicted of felonies during or after office.
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), who leads the Democrats’ campaign arm, and Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) have authored the Restoring and Enforcing Accountability of Presidents (REAP) Act. It would reform the Former Presidents Act of 1958 by stripping past presidents convicted of a felony of their $219,200 annual pension, office space and a budget to pay for staff.
The legislation does not impact lifetime Secret Service protection for convicted presidents. It will formally be introduced on Thursday, when Maloney and Jayapal will begin gathering co-sponsors.
The REAP Act does not specifically mention any former president by name but it’s a not-so-veiled swipe at former President Trump. The 45th president was just acquitted by the Senate after the House charged him with inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, and Trump is facing several criminal and civil investigations into his taxes and family business.
The Supreme Court just this week cleared the way for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., a Democrat, to obtain eight years of Trump’s tax returns and other financial records.
“Breaking the law has consequences — no matter how powerful you are, or were. Presidents who are convicted of a felony should not receive taxpayer-funded benefits. It’s that simple,” Maloney, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman, said in a statement. “The fact that this bill is now necessary in America brings me no joy, but we must demand accountability from those who have held our nation’s highest office.”
“While Congress must refuse to let Donald Trump off the hook for inciting a deadly insurrection and for committing countless other crimes during his lawless presidency,” Jayapal added, “we must also ensure that no president who is convicted of a felony receives taxpayer-funded benefits.
“The REAP Act is an important step towards finally securing full accountability and justice in this country,” she said.