In a play on her famous campaign ad, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) introduced the “Squeal” Act on Tuesday, legislation that would eliminate a tax perk for lawmakers.
What would the bill do?
The Stop Questionable, Unnecessary, and Excessive Allowances for Legislators Act would eliminate a provision of the tax code that allows members of Congress to deduct up to $3,000 each year in living expenses from their income taxes.
“Iowans sent me to Congress to make Washington, D.C., squeal and that includes eliminating handouts to politicians,” Ernst said in a statement. “To achieve the ultimate goal of lowering tax rates for hardworking families and businesses, Congress is going to have to eliminate various loopholes and deductions in our outdated tax code. Congress should lead by example and offer up its own unnecessary tax break.”
Ernst’s office said the provision creates a loophole that allows lawmakers to deduct “travel expenses” incurred in Washington even though they “spend a significant amount of time working there.”
Roll Call noted that while many members of Congress rent or own property in the Washington, D.C., area, some share homes with their colleagues or stay in their offices while they are working in the nation’s capital. Some lawmakers, the report said, “do not think that compensation is sufficient for maintaining multiple residences.”
What does the bill have to do with Ernst’s ad?
Ernst gained national attention during her 2014 campaign for the Senate when her campaign aired an ad in which she discussed “castrating hogs on an Iowa farm.”
“So when I get to Washington, I'll know how to cut pork," Ernst said in the ad.
She continued that if elected, she would work to “cut wasteful spending, repeal Obamacare, and balance the budget."
"Washington's full of big spenders. Let's make 'em squeal," Ernst said.
(H/T: Washington Times)