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. Anonymous

    So out of 33,000 dollars a month he will give up 1600.00 no loss for him

    April 3, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  2. Basho1644

    Sure, Obama is well off, and deservedly so! He's far less wealthy than a whole lot of uber-rich in this country who are doing jack for those who will be hurt by the sequester. So please, spare me the Obama-bashing at every turn, no matter what he does, just out of likely bigotry (in most cases).

    April 3, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  3. LilRdVet2

    @just sayin: did you say the same thing about all the money GW Bush's vacations cost us, too?...he spent nearly three years of his eight on vacation...and yes, he too had to take Secret Service and used Air Force One even when he went to his Crawford, TX ranch...72 times...GW Bush also travelled abroad more times than the current President and so did his wife and children...I don't see you crying about that... next!

    April 3, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  4. brian in DC

    Undoubtedly to give the appearance that he is "sharing" in the sacrifice. Is this supposed to make up for the multiple vacations and rock star concerts at the WH? The only thing transparent in this is how pathetic it is.

    April 3, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  5. Dora

    Appreciate the sentiment...however federal employees who make much less are being furloughed 20%.....if you're going to show your support, at least go all the way...

    April 3, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  6. graywolf572

    ok nexted joker stand up

    April 3, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  7. Howard

    Call it a joke if you like, but this is the first time I can recall any President doing anything like this. It's not the dollar amount; it's the spirit of the gesture. It's saying to the bureaucrats, "I'll impose the same loss on myself that's going to be imposed on you."

    Keep in mind that, while the President suggested "sequester," he had in mind an automatic tax increase. The Repubs in the House changed it to an automatic cut.

    April 3, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  8. Reasoned Thought

    Ok, put up or shut up time Congress? Senate? I don't care if your R or D. Match the move or you cannot mock it. Match the move or admit you are in it for yourselves and not the people you represent.

    April 3, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  9. AceRyder

    He'll earn more than 300 times this amount in his first speaking engagement post office, so who cares.

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

    will need to give the man the credit he deserves – it sure won't make a dent, but shows that the president cares for his people.

    April 3, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  11. Bronwen_Morgan

    his 1700/month is MORE than I make full-time for a month. I didn't need to know . . .

    April 3, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  12. Raintree

    Instead of giving back part of your paycheck to show unity with furloughed federal workers, maybe you should give back more for those middle class families being raped by the Un-Affordable Health Care Act.

    You remember that don't you Obama, Affordable Health Care?? Thats the one where you said the beauty of this plan is that it pays for itself!!! Not one more nickel!! Biggest LIAR on the planet.

    April 3, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  13. mark pinter

    Would it not be a great idea to have every member of congress to pay back at least 5% of their salary? That is not chump change!

    April 3, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  14. Obama-Bin-Lyin

    If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but not for
    being in the country illegally — you might live in a nation founded by geniuses
    but run by idiots.

    April 3, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  15. JMG

    Positive sentiment STILL met with negative response....gotta love America!

    April 3, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  16. Bill D

    He's only earning half of his salary as it is. He spends most of his time on the golf course or flying around the country campaigning his socialist agenda.

    April 3, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  17. Fed Up

    SMOKE AND MIRRORS!!! This guy makes millions from books and other endeavors, yet he wants to make us all feel good by giving up $20,000 (5%)??? Not to mention the fact that while he is in the White House, he basically has no expenses. He is not struggling or being TRULY IMPACTED by furloughs and layoffs. He is an elitist, thinking he is far above any of us! Yet, like a snake in the grass, he tries to make you feel all safe and comfortable, all while waiting for the opportune moment to strike!

    April 3, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  18. AceRyder

    Think again, all politicians won't become MEGA millionaires after leaving office. Obama is headed for filthy rich territory post term.

    April 3, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  19. sma89

    5% of 400,000 dollars? $20,000? Welfare leeches (no not genuine welfare recipients) make more than that. How about cut his salary 50%, considering he's only doing about half the work he should be doing.

    April 3, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  20. werewolf1

    He's not much of a President,but he's a hell of a good Comedian.

    April 3, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  21. yo!

    I paid more taxes this year and it goes to the government, including the President's salary.

    April 3, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  22. Stephanie

    Say what you want, at least he is putting in something. How many people have complained on this issue about the politicians not taking any hits in their pay? If Obama wants to put in his money, let him. Maybe it will shame some of those other wealthy politicians to put in as well. Together, if all of the politicians put in their own 5% can you imagine the amount that could be? At least they would be taking a hit, albeit small, with the rest of us. I don't care what the motive is, let them chip in something. So what if they get popularity points, at least the regular joe and jane are not bearing the whole burden.

    April 3, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  23. mike

    400 a year and only paying 5% what a joke.

    April 3, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  24. Drew

    At least he's willing to do that. Let's see a chain reaction.

    April 3, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  25. Mitchipoopoo

    For many of these top level government officials monetary sacrifices have already occurred just to accept the job.

    April 3, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
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