Thousands of fed-up Americans are demanding that Congress cut President Barack Obama’s taxpayer-covered salary and other benefits for any time he spends campaigning for Democrat Hillary Clinton between now and the presidential election in November.
The demand comes in the form of a Stand United petition expressing alarm that Obama plans to put his presidential duties on hold while devoting most of his time over the next month to getting Clinton elected.
The petition’s creators explain:
According to reports from the White House, Barack Obama has instructed his staff to clear his calendar for the month of October this year. Obama, who is in his last four months in the White House, is apparently concerned that a Republican President would overturn his legacy. Obamacare, EPA rules against coal, green energy initiatives are all at risk for this President.
Just as Obama did when first elected to office, most opposite political party Presidents spend their first 100 days in office overturning the previous President’s executive orders and memorandums. Obama would much prefer to preserve those executive mandates by helping Hillary Clinton become America’s next President, and thus preserving his third term in office.
Many sitting Presidents endorse a candidate for the Presidency when their term is up; it is very rare for a President to actively campaign for someone else.
Citing “fuzzy” federal election guidelines about how much the president is allowed to rely on his taxpayer-provided travel benefits as he makes his way across the country on Clinton’s behalf. FEC laws, the petition notes that the Democratic Party is supposed to “to repay the American people at a reduced rate if the travel is purely political.” Without hard rules, though, the petitions creators worry that American taxpayers are getting shafted by Obama’s use of Air Force One—which costs about $180,000 per hour to operate— as he travels promoting Clinton’s candidacy.
Besides Air Force One costs, Obama enjoys a salary of $400,000 in addition to a $50,000 expense account “to assist in defraying expenses relating to or resulting from the discharge of his official duties.”
To discourage Obama from becoming campaigner-in-chief throughout October as the nation’s domestic and international troubles continue to build, the petition asks members of Congress to force the president to do his job or forego its benefits.
“We the People demand that Congress withhold President Obama’s salary, pension, travel expenses, etc. for any time he spends actively campaigning for Hillary Clinton between now and the election in November. The People of the United States demand accountability for funding to public officials—all bills related to revenue must begin in the House of Representatives,” the petition says.
As of this writing, nearly 50,000 Americans had signed the online petition.
Congress has the sole authority to withhold presidential pay—but members would have to provide a workaround for constitutional stipulations that presidential pay “shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected” if they were serious about freezing Obama’s paycheck while his on the road for Clinton.
Sign the petition at Stand United.
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