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. Steve

    Sure, it's peanuts. However, the Republicans are making a big deal about the White House tours so you need to decide if you are going to be a nit picker or a big picture kind of complainer.

    April 3, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  2. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    @hornetbut

    The President could give up his entire salary and you'd make the same distasteful comment. Let's face it, America would be a lot better off without bigoted racist envy divisive fools like you. Please go away.

    April 3, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  3. nvorr

    Hey hornetbut, just for show why don't you do the same. Obviously, President Obama can't do anything that would please you. If you check it out further, you'll see that MANY of the folks in Congress who are super rich-and responsible for this mess are not even considering doing the same. I guess they need their money more than we, the little people do.

    April 3, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  4. JUST SAY NO

    just say no

    April 3, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  5. __

    Peanuts for one person, but when all of congress and politicians do it, it'll be more than just peanuts.

    April 3, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  6. joeusavotes

    Nice jester when rich guys give back a little. The trips have some crazy price tags on them; like 75K per hour. Unless something is important cutting out a few trips would save way more than 20K per year salary cut but I think it looks good when everyone shares in the cutting.

    April 3, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  7. Marcus Takatoa

    I wonder what the ratio of Obama's dollars to the corresponding thrills up Chris Matthew's leg works out to be.

    April 3, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  8. Tom

    A publicity stunt to be sure, but it could wind up being an effective one.

    April 3, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  9. SilverBack

    @hornebutt, It's the jesture that counts butthead!

    April 3, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. Mike

    At least it's a show of support. It's more than members of Congress seem to be doing.

    April 3, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  11. Kesha

    Hornetbut. Most presidents r rich!! He's the first to give his money back! That's the perspective and the same for Hagel! I'm sure others will follow suit. It's a grand gesture to the American people! Period! That is a non-partisan move! Human moves r more powerful! It's the right the right thing to do.

    April 3, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  12. palespyder

    $20,000 a year for a multi millionaire, you will forgive me for not worshipping at his altar.

    April 3, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  13. stupidis

    @hornetbut, your reading comprehension is terrible, or did you not read the article? Obama clearly said "a show of unity with furloughed federal workers"! Geesh you're dumb!

    April 3, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  14. Ianni

    "I'm still waiting for Trump to cut his check to the Treasury. Here's the address Donald: 1500 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, DC 20220"

    Look, I don't like Trump, but he isn't a public worker or official. Besides he offered to pay 2 million to keep white house tours going.

    April 3, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  15. Dan

    A man with a salary of $400k per year. And has no housing expenses. No clothing expenses. No hair, food, medical, car, internet, phone, heating, electrical, etc. And his salary is not the total of his income, he makes more from his books etc.

    Political stunts like this are given press specifically because CNN wants to help the administration. There is zero effort by CNN to dig into the president's incomes and expenses and compare the impact of his donation to the treasury in real terms. For example, noting that he is giving 5% of his salary versus 5% of his income. Or noting that his income taxes last year were more than twice his presidential salary. This is a rich man.

    By not putting a little perspective on the story, they just basically become a spokesperson for the administration.

    April 3, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  16. republicanazzwipe

    rich or not he's giving back something no other president has ever done, so go suck an egg hornetbut.

    April 3, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  17. YourMom

    Woah! Big spender!

    April 3, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  18. Larry L

    I'm a huge Obama fan but I'll point out the fact that civil servants, people who had nothing to do with the sequester, will lose over 20% of their salary – and they're not wealthy. The Congress loses nothing and they are the problem!

    April 3, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  19. How Nice

    Such a sweet deal... He is only loosing $1,666.67 per month or if he goes all year $20,000.00 which leaves him with a mear $380,000 to live on. Granted that is my paycheck per month but really... Don't try to play the whole I feel your pain game until you LOOSE YOUR PAYCHECK FOR an undisclosed amount of time due to furlows...

    April 3, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  20. bassman

    Its one stunt after another with this White House. There is no consistancy. If we dont have the money for White House tours, why is there money for Easter egg rolls? Because they make decisions based on politics.

    April 3, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  21. palespyder

    $20,000 a year as a multi-millionaire, you will forgive me for not worshipping at the altar of his majesty.

    April 3, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  22. Tommy B

    That won't cover his next round of golf, how about skipping next vacation to
    Martha's vineyard or Hawaii?

    April 3, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  23. A-young-professional

    Even if it is all for show it's still the right thing to do. Now we just need to tie Congress's and the president's salar directly to passing laws. If you don't set a budget on time then you don't get payed. If you can't compromise to pass a law, then you don't get paid. Being an elected official should be no different. If you don't do your job the paychecks will stop.

    April 3, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  24. steve

    I wished he would cut back on 5% of his travel budget.....

    April 3, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  25. Mary Trumble

    5% is not what federal workers are being held to against their will. Try 20%.

    April 3, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
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