Obama will give up portion of his salary
April 3rd, 2013
03:14 PM ET
2 years 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. BCW

    I believe that all in the congress and senate should also give back at least 5% of their salary to show unity with the governement employees who are being furloughed. It is a good gesture.

    April 3, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  2. Ryan Dygulski

    Sure it's probably half show however, I do believe he actually means what he says and it comes from the heart. I don't see many others stepping up to the plate. $20K will do nothing to help the situation money wise but It shows a leader willing to stand with his men. That's more important to me than any amount of money. The money is just a tangible to the true meaning of his gesture. The ones who constantly complain and obstruct the President instead of falling in behind will never be satisfied with anything he does and will ALWAYS find something to pick on.

    April 3, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  3. Vicki Sue

    It would be nice to see many others do the same but, they don't care about the cuts they give to everyone else or how it effects them and their family. But I'll bet everyone in the Senate and Congress has a nice car, if not two. I'll bet they all have vacation homes or condos. I'll bet that not one of them has had to scrape to get by or pawn their jewelry to eat. These are the people who run our country and pass laws on how we live but why don't they get pay cuts based on our economy and why is they don't have to make concessions but we do? For those that are thinking of others even if it's 5%, its something. I got an 8% raise for the first time in 3 years but my taxes went up and ate my raise. What am I working for? and who?

    April 3, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  4. Tim

    Does anyone see the irony here?

    The same people that are saying that Obama is rich and this is nothing and the amount his gave is inconsequential are the same people that scream bloody murder if you even think about raising taxes on the wealthy

    So it's OK if the rich guy you don't like gives up his money, but if the rich people you do like have to do it, suddenly it's socialism and theft and the inevitable fall of America.

    Funny how that works.

    And hey, let's be blunt here, Obama is wealthy, but he is a penniless pauper compared to the 1 percent.

    April 3, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  5. Andy

    Big deal he is giving up 20,000 dollars... If he gave up 200,000 or more then I might be impressed. Besides that doesn't cut out any of the tax dollars he spends on his family vacations.

    April 3, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  6. commiecat

    This is really newsworth, CNN??? He steals another 10 million every year from pork barrel contributions, etc. What a STUPID NETWORK this is to actually brag and put this out for readers to believe!!!

    April 3, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  7. Dennis

    Let Romney give up 5% of his income and we can then balance the budget.Oh wait,that's going to the Mormon church.

    April 3, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  8. Joi Gibson

    It is unity with the furloughed workers. And all you naysayers, give it a rest. I doubt anyone in Congress will give up any of their salary. They should really be the ones giving up part of their salary since they only work one week a month.

    Bravo Mr. President!!!

    April 3, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  9. sayer

    Bravo, Mr. President!

    April 3, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  10. Akira

    This is for show. He's using it as a tax write off. Good try OBOZO!

    April 3, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  11. commiecat

    I meant to spell it "newsworthy" above.

    April 3, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  12. mommytwice

    There's nothing wrong with giving up part of his salary. If he gave it all up, people would find fault. If he gave up half, people would find fault. It doesn't matter what he does, the right will find something wrong with it. So, Mr. President, just do what you think is right and all the righties out there can shut up and deal.

    April 3, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  13. Ken in MD

    When is Congress, who cause this mess in the first place, going to follow suit?

    April 3, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  14. Lord Toronaga

    Well.... I give him credit on this one.

    April 3, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    Big whoop, $20K. They could groom their own dog and save taxpayers much much more.

    April 3, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  16. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    @ FAKE Dominican Mama 4 Obama

    You might as well change your screen name because we know you're not the REAL Dominican Mama 4 Obama. That woman is well spoken and educated while you on the other hand can hardly put a coherent sentence together. Get a clue.

    April 3, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  17. Lewis

    While that's a nice gesture and all, it doesn't really help the people who are out of work. Maybe every member of Congress should do the same thing, since it's their fault (Democrats and Republicans alike) that we're really in this mess.

    April 3, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  18. MaryM

    How many in congress, that cant find a way to compromise is giving any part of their back. huh?

    April 3, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  19. commiecat

    I meant to spell it "newsworthy" above!

    April 3, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    The arrogance of this man is beyond basic comprehension. First, if your failure to do your job results in a significant loss of income to your employer, then you need to go. It's basic business. Second, if 5 percent of your salary is significant enough to cover part of the money you caused your employer to lose, your employer needs to seriously reconsider your paycheck. It's basic finance. Get this loser out of the President's office before he hurts someone.

    April 3, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  21. barssbb

    5%? B F D. Why doesn't he put 5% of what he pays to go on golf outing and vacations every year... What a joke. He has no expenses as President yet offers 5%...get bent...

    April 3, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  22. goblackhawks

    I am pretty sure that any republican president would never have thought to cut his/her own salary. So all of you haters of what President Obama has done can stop it.
    Actually Mitt Romney .. that out of touch guy .. gave up $135,000 Gov Salary. But I say good Obama .. now just give up the golf and the vacations and parties .... Finally he has done 1 thing right

    April 3, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  23. ICIdiocy

    The arrogance of this man is beyond basic comprehension. First, if your failure to do your job results in a significant loss of income to your employer, then you need to go. It's basic business. Second, if 5 percent of your salary is significant enough to cover part of the money you caused your employer to lose, your employer needs to seriously reconsider your paycheck. It's basic finance. Get this loser out of the President's office before he hurts someone.

    April 3, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  24. Bill Davis

    President Obama a man of honor. While the GOP says no to everything this man actions matches his words. SHARED SACRIFICE!!!

    April 3, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  25. MAC

    AS A FEDERAL EMPLOYEE I WILL LOOSE 20% OF MY PAY EACH WEEK...............HOW DOES 5% EQUATE

    April 3, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
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