Republican Senator Targets Tax Breaks For Lawmakers

A Republican senator says any effort to overhaul the tax code should eliminate an unusual tax preference for members of Congress.

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, unveiled standalone legislation Tuesday that would eliminate a tax provision allowing lawmakers to deduct up to $3,000 per year toward their living expenses for maintaining what is legally a secondary residence in or around the nation’s capital.

“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for hardworking families and businesses, Congress is going to have to eliminate various loopholes and deductions in our outdated tax code.”

While many members of Congress either rent or own property in Washington, D.C., or the nearby Maryland and Virginia suburbs at fair-market rates in an expensive real estate market, some live in group homes or even in their offices.

Read more at Roll Call.