Obama will give up portion of his salary
April 3rd, 2013
03:14 PM ET
10 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.

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"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. DoubleDeuce

    How about you quit flying all over the country on Air Force One for campaigns and golf instead of your 'great' sacrifice of 5%. Man, this guy really is a jacka$$.

    April 3, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  2. WhackyWaco

    Talk about a PR show. The government will only put this money into the general fund. He would be better off donating the money to a charity.

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

    How about he gives up some of his/family monthly vacations. How about he stops spending our tax dollars on musicians playing for him. Just think if he gave up 5% of those it would be 100x the payback from his 5% which he will not doubt right off so it wont even be 5%.

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

    Say what you want...be as cynical as you want. This is an incredible show of great leadership. How many corporate executives do you see giving up their ridiculous salaries or bonuses to help? And don't get me started on the overpaid Entertainment and Sport Industry people. One or two of them alone could wipte out the national debt with a check.

    April 3, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  5. CJ

    Well, you can yell about how Obama has money and this is nothing but showmanship. But I wish more government workers and politicians would engage in this kind of showmanship, and throw some of their money back in during a fiscal tightening.

    Whether it's for publicity or not, it's a step in the right direction.

    April 3, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  6. Pat Riot

    Waiting for crybaby Boehner to do the same..

    April 3, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  7. WOW

    Wow you people are so angry and full of hate. I dont remember any other president doing this.. SHAME SHAME on the hateful republicans and some independents... WOW..

    April 3, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  8. CJ


    At least he's doing something. It seems as if the President can't catch a break from the haters. If he didn't pay anything, then the haters would say, "why isn't his salary decreased?" Now that he's volunteering a portion of his salary, it's not enough for you. smh

    April 3, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  9. Nunya

    Why doesn't he continue to lead by example and go ahead and start paying the extra taxes he wants to impose on the top earners? He can make out a second check weekly to the treasury.

    April 3, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  10. Angel

    It does not matter what President Obama does, there are still going to be these stupid people out here saying he is not doing enough. How many President have done this. Giving money back. Great Job President Obama. He cares for the people that are trying hard to make it in this World.

    April 3, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  11. hornetrebut

    So what if it's all for show? Let us know when you cut a check for $20,000 to the treasury, just because you're feeling charitable?

    April 3, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  12. Mona

    Do you think any of Congress will give up a portion of their salary? Hmmmnnnn? Wanna bet?

    April 3, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  13. LiberaLIowan


    It IS all for show. That is the point!

    April 3, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  14. Grim

    Although I voted for him I don't agree with some of the things he has done. That said, I do agree with this.
    To the people who say it means nothing, is it better to give up 0% or 5%?
    Every little bit adds up, every act matters.

    April 3, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  15. Jan

    AAAAHHHH – now ALL he will be bringing home is $380,000.00 . HOW WILL HE LIVE ?!?!?!?

    April 3, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  16. steve

    step in the right direction even if I do feel cynical about it

    April 3, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  17. sara

    Well Hornetbut, All for show? Whatever it takes and the rest of Washington should be doing this. Wise up and quit whining. The President is doing something good here. Lord!!!!

    April 3, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  18. Tim

    Yeah, the guy who has Michelin-starred chefs catering every meal, is living in a mansion with 132 rooms, and has chauffers, a private helicopter and jet airplane is giving back 5% of his $400,000/year salary in a show of solidarity with the workers he's laying off. This is a guy whose family hasn't had to do anything for themselves for years, and still won't, even if he gave back ALL of his salary.

    April 3, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  19. topdog

    5% of his salary, NOT his family income which is way higher. not a great example.

    April 3, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  20. Name OutOfTheBox

    Some seem to think that Obama's 5% contribution is a joke. So what is the Republicans' 0% contribution?

    April 3, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  21. Bill

    What a joke is right. Those fat cats can afford to give up their salaries. What about those federal workers making less than $90,000.00, furloughs will really impact them.

    April 3, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  22. pitt04

    Obama has got to be one of the most humblest person on this earth.

    April 3, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  23. Rojelio

    Reince Priebus should donate some money back to the treasury. He had almost enough to buy the New York City Mayor seat, ALMOST!

    April 3, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  24. Lyon2k

    Did bush ever gave any thing back?

    April 3, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  25. Sarcastro

    Give up half the golf and half the vacations – that will save the taxpayers way more than 5% of your salary.

    April 3, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
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