Obama will give up portion of his salary
April 3rd, 2013
03:14 PM ET
1 year ago

Obama will give up portion of his salary

(CNN) - President Barack Obama will put 5% of his paycheck back into the federal government's coffers in a show of unity with furloughed federal workers, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday.

Obama, whose $400,000 annual salary is set in law and can't officially be changed, will write a check made out to the U.S. treasury every month beginning in April. Since the mandatory across-the-board spending cuts went into effect March 1, his payment for last month will be paid retroactively.

"The President has decided that to share in the sacrifice being made by public servants across the federal government that are affected by the sequester, he will contribute a portion of his salary back to the Treasury," Carney said in a statement. "He instructed his staff he wanted to do this when the sequester took effect."

On Tuesday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced he was giving up the portion of his salary that would have been cut if he had been subject to the same work furlough as thousands of department personnel under the mandatory federal budget cuts. Hagel, who earns $199,700 annually, will write a check to the Treasury for up to 14 days of salary, according to Pentagon press secretary George Little.

As a Cabinet official confirmed by the Senate, Hagel is not subject to the furlough. But Little said Hagel decided to give the equivalent of his furloughed pay to show his support for his workforce. Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter had already announced he was doing the same thing in the weeks before Hagel was confirmed.

On Monday, Carney announced that nearly 500 furlough notices have gone out to administration employees in reaction to the forced government spending cuts known as sequestration.

"The White House is one of eleven components of the Executive Office of the President which is indeed, as we have said, subject to the sequester," Carney said. "Within the Executive Office of the President, several offices have sent furlough notices to their staff, including to 480 employees of the Office of Management and Budget."

According to estimates released when the budget cuts went into effect on March 1, OMB must cut $7 million from the $89 million remaining in its annual budget. Other departments within the EOP have thus far been successful in reducing spending in ways that have avoided the need for furloughs, Carney said, but "additional furloughs as well as pay cuts remain possibilities for additional White House employees."


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (433 Responses)
  1. David

    Just for show? 20,000 just for show? lol the ones who criticize him for doing this, are ignorant Republicans, sometimes a symbolic gestures goes a long way...

    April 3, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  2. rl

    hornetbut of course it is all for show, and all are super rich and will be more super rich when they leave office. But, do we see any of the repub/TB party members doing so? If they are let's hear about it and let them join the club.

    April 3, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  3. TAK

    Of course it's symbolic. But note that the greedy d-bags in congress won't even do that much, and they caused all this.

    April 3, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  4. Christian

    hornetbut -At lease Obama is making the offer. Why don't Glenn Beck, Rupert Murdoch, Bill O'Reilly, and republicans everywhere? Because they are hypocrites. They can pretend to be deficit hawks but they won't put their money where their mouth is.

    April 3, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  5. DC

    5 percent to him is nothing, compared to the 100 percent salary cuts he is giving to Air Traffic Controllers in 149 control towers. This is non-news. Lets hear about something important.

    April 3, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  6. omgwhee@gmail.com

    Say what you will about the President and this move, but I'm sorely disappointed that a Congress with a 9% approval rating didn't do this years ago and moreover: voted swiftly to give themselves a pay raise while obstructing legislation vital to the literal and economic health of this country.

    April 3, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  7. CH Seattle

    So since Trump is obviously smarter than you, he is not gonna fall for that ;)

    April 3, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  8. juge

    Stop the cynicism – rePUGS!

    April 3, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  9. DCLaw

    It is strange how those who claim to care most for the "people" really only want to the people.to use the people for their own ends. Enjoy your vacations Mr President and Mrs. Obama.

    April 3, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  10. ss

    well hornebut – why don't you give up some of your money too – if it is all for show – it is still money he has that he is giving up – dumba__

    April 3, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  11. Bill

    I show of unity? The furloughed workers are not getting paid. Mr. Obama is rich and is returning 5%. I'd prefer he keep his 5% and earn his paycheck. I suspect many others share my point of view.

    April 3, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  12. geez

    "Obama, whose $400,000 annual salary is set in law and can't officially be changed, will write a check made out to the U.S. treasury every month beginning in April. Since the mandatory across-the-board spending cuts went into effect March 1, his payment for last month will be paid retroactively."

    His salary can't be changed by law, yet him and others are willing to take cuts along with other worker, and some how people are going to speak negativly about him doing so. Makes me think that some people will never be happy and will always find a reason to complain. I see what Obama is doing as well as others as a real stand up thing and an example leaders of other countries should look to.

    April 3, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  13. cc423

    just sayin'....George W. Bush spent at least $20 million taxpayer dollars just on flights to his ranch in Crawford. And he got us into TWO trillion dollar + wars. You right wing freaks wrecked this country and you have NO leg to stand on.

    April 3, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  14. No name

    He's still making more in a month than I do in a year.

    April 3, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  15. Gumby

    This is exactly the type of antic a rank amateur does in a posiition of power! Rather than fix the problem like a true leader, they elect to "comiserate" with their peers.....

    April 3, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  16. Peter / Miami, FL

    @hornebut – Funny!!! Can you name any Republican President / Senator / Representative that has done the same thing in the past? of course NOT...

    Mind you, I would love for politicians on both sides of the isle to do the same, but I guess that would be too much to ask of them!!!!

    April 3, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  17. nomad2003

    hey dutch get the address right....
    Gifts to the United States
    U.S. Department of the Treasury
    Credit Accounting Branch
    3700 East-West Highway, Room 622D
    Hyattsville, MD 20782

    US government including the treasury will not let a gift be directed to a certain expense... without this trying to pay for white house tours can not be done... Obama is just trying to do this for show...

    My congressman, D. Webster, cut his salary back to 2008 levels when he took office... but being a republican you will not find that on the CNN web site.

    April 3, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  18. George

    Oboma doesn't need to give up 5% of his salary. He just needs to quit flying the biggest corporate jet in the world (he wants to tax corporate jets) to Florida to play golf.

    April 3, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  19. aizen

    well at least he is doing something...im waiting on republicans to do the same thing. 5% is still something. that is $20.000 annually.

    April 3, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  20. Dee G.

    It seems to me that no matter what President Obama does to prove he's trying to help better the country, the people who truly hate hime will always hate him. Get over yourselves, unless of course you will also give up a portion of your salary even if you don't have to.

    April 3, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  21. Rob

    Congratulations Mr. President. As someone that authorizes the spending of billions of dollars a day you have pledged a donation of roughly $417.00 per week for the next few years. Nobody will cover when you decide to not send that check, nor will anyone benefit from this act of false altruism.
    All the same...well done. The American people are going to be seen by the rest of the world as better people because of this act. (insert heavily applied sarcasm).

    April 3, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  22. SammyD

    Amazing!!! imagine if every politician did this!

    April 3, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  23. felix

    It looked like a great story when it started with "Obama will give up".

    April 3, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  24. geez

    BTW, our presidents make a salary, which means his vacations or all the many Bush took didn't cost you or me a dime, what they do is not a volenteer job.

    April 3, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  25. Jeff

    But isn't the furlough cutting 20%?

    April 3, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
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