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November 01, 2017

Schweikert Unveils House Version of SQUEAL Act


Ernst: Leigh Claffey, Press@Ernst.Senate.Gov, 202-224-3254 

Schweikert: Ashley Sylvester,, 202-225-2190


Schweikert Unveils House Version of SQUEAL Act

Follows Senator Joni Ernst’s Introduction Earlier in the Week


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congressman David Schweikert (AZ-06), a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, introduced the House companion to U.S. Senator Joni Ernst’s bill known as the Stop Questionable, Unnecessary, and Excessive Allowances for Legislators (SQUEAL) Act. This bill would eliminate a provision of the tax code that allows U.S. Senators and Representatives to deduct, for income tax purposes, up to $3,000 annually in living expenses while in the Washington, D.C. area.

“As we work together to eliminate wasteful loopholes in our tax code, the place we need to start is the thousands of dollars in tax deductions set aside for Members of Congress,” said Congressman Schweikert.  “I am excited to work with Senator Ernst on this first step towards a simpler, equitable tax code.”

“If Congress is going to get serious about tax reform and lower tax rates for hardworking families and businesses, a good place to start is by eliminating the thousands of dollars in a tax break for Members of Congress,” said Senator Ernst.I’m thrilled to have Congressman Schweikert’s support in the House as we call on Congress to lead by example and offer up its own unnecessary tax break.”

About the SQUEAL Act:

  • The Code of Federal Regulations defines living-expenses as meals, lodging, and other incidental expenses. Under our current tax code, taxpayers are allowed to claim business-expense deductions for unreimbursed travel expenses incurred while they are away from their principal place of business (“home”). For the purposes of this deduction, a Member of Congress’ “home” is the state or district they represent – not Washington, D.C. where they work.
  • Due to this loophole, legislators are allowed to claim deductions for their living-expenses while working in Washington, D.C., even though they spend a significant amount of time working there.
  • Senator Ernst’s SQUEAL Act eliminates the provision of the tax code that allows Members of Congress to deduct up to $3,000 in D.C.-based living expenses from their income taxes per year.

View the text of the SQUEAL Act here.

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