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senate Bill S. 2033

SQUEAL Act: Should Tax Deductions For the Living Expenses Incurred by Members of Congress be Eliminated?

Argument in favor

Members of Congress shouldn’t get a tax break that lets them deduct their living expenses, like meals and lodging, when they’re in Washington, D.C. The deduction should be eliminated.

KansasTamale's Opinion
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11/22/2017
If Congress is going to take away A $250 TAX DEDUCTION FOR TEACHERS, WHO, (speaking as a 45 year veteran teacher) SPEND A GREAT DEAL MORE THAN THAT, there is no way Congress should have had, let alone keep a $3,000 living expense deduction UNLESS THAT DEDUCTION IS ALSO ALLOWED FOR EVERY AMERICAN IN THE SHORT FORM.
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JTJ's Opinion
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11/22/2017
Considering their salary and benefits, congress is over compensated for their job. We should also impose term limits
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Brent's Opinion
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11/22/2017
Our tax laws have been designed to benefit those on the inside (those with influence in government). Eliminate this deduction, and all of the rest of them, by completely rewriting our tax program and going to a flat or fair tax.
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Argument opposed

Members of Congress need a tax deduction to help make up for the additional expenses they incur from splitting their time between home and Washington, D.C.

Maddie's Opinion
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11/22/2017
If we take away reimbursement for cost of living, wouldn’t that make it less likely that anyone who’s not super rich to be able to work in Congress?
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gothgem's Opinion
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11/21/2017
No, all citizens are able to deduct business expenses, why should members of Congress be exceptional.
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Matthew's Opinion
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11/22/2017
This should be based on the net worth of the individual. If we want the average person to run for Congress and represent the people, we need incentives to make it easier for them. However, the higher net worth of the average member of Congress today is high enough that they don’t need the deduction. Like many issues, it’s muddy. While this change won’t make much of an impact, I think it’s the elimination of small incentives like this overtime that create the swamp.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Finance
    IntroducedOctober 31st, 2017

What is Senate Bill S. 2033?

This bill — known as the SQUEAL Act — would eliminate the tax deduction for living expenses incurred by members of Congress, which is currently limited to $3,000 per year. Among the expenses that lawmakers can deduct under the tax break are meals, lodging, and other incidental business expenses while away from their home.

The bill’s full title is the Stop Questionable, Unnecessary, and Excessive Allowances for Legislators Act.

Impact

Members of Congress; and the Internal Revenue Service.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 2033

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) introduced this bill to “cut perks for elected officials and make Washington squeal” by eliminating a provision of the tax code that lets members of Congress deduct up to $3,000 annually for living expenses in the Washington, D.C. area:

“Iowans sent me to Congress to make Washington, D.C. squeal and that includes eliminating handouts to politicians. 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.”


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: inhauscreative / iStock)

AKA

SQUEAL Act

Official Title

A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to eliminate the deduction for living expenses incurred by members of Congress.

    If Congress is going to take away A $250 TAX DEDUCTION FOR TEACHERS, WHO, (speaking as a 45 year veteran teacher) SPEND A GREAT DEAL MORE THAN THAT, there is no way Congress should have had, let alone keep a $3,000 living expense deduction UNLESS THAT DEDUCTION IS ALSO ALLOWED FOR EVERY AMERICAN IN THE SHORT FORM.
    Like (277)
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    If we take away reimbursement for cost of living, wouldn’t that make it less likely that anyone who’s not super rich to be able to work in Congress?
    Like (52)
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    Considering their salary and benefits, congress is over compensated for their job. We should also impose term limits
    Like (132)
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    Our tax laws have been designed to benefit those on the inside (those with influence in government). Eliminate this deduction, and all of the rest of them, by completely rewriting our tax program and going to a flat or fair tax.
    Like (71)
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    Members of congress should live like regular citizens. They ARE regular citizens. They should have our Health plans and our tax plans and our retirement plans and when their stint is up they should go back to work. They should have limits to their time in service as well. They work for US. Not the other way around.
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    Wish I could receive a tax deduction for living expenses.
    Like (39)
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    If they won’t let teachers deduct $250 for what they spend on students, they certainly should lose their deductions- and every other privilege they have that teachers don’t!
    Like (34)
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    If they think we the people should not have any deductions they should not have any either. Time for all their perks to end.
    Like (31)
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    Take all benefits and Tax loopholes from Congress. Afterwards, The People can vote in what benefits the Congress shall receive, including vacation and total compensation.
    Like (25)
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    Stop taxing the poor!!!
    Like (13)
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    Congress should not receive extra tax credits or deductions that regular citizens do not receive. They are paid quite well and this is not needed. This is a special privilege that Congress has given itself and should be repealed.
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    Congress is way over compensated as it is!!
    Like (10)
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    If the current tax bill goes through, this is an easy call. No special deduction for congress if they are cutting out deductions for everyone else.
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    No, all citizens are able to deduct business expenses, why should members of Congress be exceptional.
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    Simlified for them too! There should be no special treatment of elected officals. All laws that apply to the public MUST apply EQUALLY to elected officials. NO EXCEPTIONS. DECEMBER 6, 2017: Well the bill has passed and is in committee. The news is much worse than was represented by the Republicans. Tax breaks continue for HEDGE Funds, Real Estate firms and REITS get special treatment. The deal was supposed to eliminate all special tax treatment. Well we the PEOPLE have been duped.
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    Absolutely,since MEMBERS OF CONGRESS are so keen on eliminating all the middle class tax deductions, it seems only fair they have their expense account tax deduction eliminated as well!!
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    This should be based on the net worth of the individual. If we want the average person to run for Congress and represent the people, we need incentives to make it easier for them. However, the higher net worth of the average member of Congress today is high enough that they don’t need the deduction. Like many issues, it’s muddy. While this change won’t make much of an impact, I think it’s the elimination of small incentives like this overtime that create the swamp.
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    Yes. All tax deductions should be eliminated for members of Congress. They should be subject to the exact same tax code they are forcing on the American people. If they want to take away our deductions, theirs should be taken, too.
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    If we are going g to eliminate teacher 250 deduction and add “income” for students that are working there way through grad school then NO! Why should our representatives get what the people they represent do not?
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    There are no paupers in congress so they can afford to have the deduction eliminated. It is only right. Teachers can’t deduct the supplies they buy for which the school districts can’t afford to supply to students, SALT deductions go away. Moving expenses even when required by employer or a loss of job will happen cannot be deducted. Student aid can no longer be deducted. Congress needs to put its money where its mouth is and show that they will take the hit just like they expect everyone else to do. Failure to do so confirms that they believe themselves a superior exception and can do whatever they like—like sexually harass others and endorse child molesters. They are either deceitful and hypocrites who cannot be trusted or they represent their constituents and take it on the chin like everyone else. One or the other. What are you congress? Going to put your money where your mouth is or skulk away into the night like a varmint?
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