(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."
Thank you,Mr. President.
Maybe he should try living ON the 5%.
In response to hornetbut: I am not surprised at your comment because no matter what Obama does, there'llalways be those who'd complain and criticize his actions negatively, regardless or his good intentions. How many presidents including the Bushes, JFK, Roosevelt, etc., have ever offered a cut of their salary?
Hey there "all for show" ahh im not sure where you have been... But..the show is over..he was re elected. He has nothing to gain except respect, and he already has that....look at his approval rating....geez buddy give your head a shake
Hey SpeakerBoehner, could you part with some of your Exxon Funds.
Yes...all for show...A SHOW OF UNITY. That's the point.
He's kidding right. Only 5%. If he's really feeling generous he should cut down on his monthly holidays that he and the first family take every month. Forgo spending $100m on brain research (like thats the most important issue right now). And hopefully not start another war with the koreans....
hornebut – wether it is for show or not. I do not see the Republicans do a damn thing to stop people from losing their jobs or cutting their pay.
What a joke. That's the equivalent of a few minutes of one of his golf trips, or a few seconds of one his families many vacations.
Maybe he should try living on the 5%
hornetbut, How much are you giving back to the US Treasury? For show or not it is a good thing to do. Most Americans would not do the same.
You are correct Hornetbut, however if each member of congress; house, and senate, would do the same we might start seeing something positive. They might actually start acting, and I know this is a streach, RESPONSIBLE.
5%, BAH! I see all the cuts being made, he should be giving it all up if he really cared!
Wow $20,000 will go a long way considering his housing, food and traveling expenses are all paid for incuding his numerous vacations. Way to make a big deal and not give much back Mr. President. I think you should give up 25% as that would probably cover the salaries of 2 fededal employees annually and maybe help support their middle class families they are attempting to provide for.
I think all of congress should do the same as Obama and these Cabinet officials, as the reason this furlough is happenning is that they could not compromise as adults and create a budget!
Wow, he'd do that for us?
said no one. Ever.
SenMcConnell would part with some of his too but his wife is sending his money to China to help support the jobs she sent there while in office.
hornetbut, come on now give the President his due. I think that is good of him. Now let's see if some of the super rich congress does this. Not going to happen!
At least he is doing something. Let's see Congress do something.
5% of his presidential salary isn't so bad considering he still gets book royalties, but good for him anyway. He created it, so he should lead by example. Things can't be too bad though since they still had the egg roll last weekend.
His $20,000 payback/month does not even cover one-half of one second of increasing national debt. Thanks for the gumball Mickey.
So Federal workers lose 20% and he gives up 5%, even though he's taken 3 vacations this year (cut that).
Now sit back and see who in Congress follows suit.
Leadership looks unusual to baggers, since they have nothing tangible to reference as an example.
Thank you president obama.