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. Jim

    Wow, look at all the hatred, Repubs do nothing, share in none of the pain, only complain about the next guy, thank god they are going to die out soon enough once these redneck baby boomers die of lung cancer from smoking because that was as fake as global warming to them.

    April 3, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  2. krehator

    Notice from the elite:

    "We have decided to match the efforts of the President by cutting another 5% of jobs. (in the US only)".

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

    A president is never truly on vacation

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

    He's a wealthy 1 percenter who's every need is taken care of by the taxpayer. Why does he need any of the salary? Besides the salary is not the problem, it's the constant vacations that would make a bigger difference.

    April 3, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  5. Bleh1964

    Ah, but you see he will claim it as a charitble contribution come tax time. Not so slick after all.

    April 3, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  6. dr greg

    I don't think Obama is a great leader. Fair at best. But this is a good move on his part. And for once I agree with the liberal crowd that the rest on Congress (GOP included) should follow his lead.

    April 3, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  7. zeibodique

    All the chest huffers whining that it's anything but a good deed. Kindly step up to the plate and offer 5% (in this case $20,000) of your salary. Don't condem or ridicule this unless you put more the table.

    April 3, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  8. werewolf1

    He's not much of a President,but a damn fine Comedian.

    April 3, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  9. Romney is Still NOT My Hero

    @dave in dallas

    of course its for show... but its a good show of leadership.

    Okay, there's ONE person I like in the state of Texas.

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

    To all of those who are complaining about Obama. YOU DON'T DESERVE A CHECK!

    April 3, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  11. Chow chow chow

    Nice gesture, BUT, furloughed workers will be sacrificing 10 – 20% and most are middle class workers ... therefore, Obama should really give at least 10% not 5%.... also, members of Congress should follow this example and give at least 5% also

    April 3, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  12. sma89

    5% of 400,000 dollars? $20,000? Welfare recipients (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 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  13. socalpimp

    5% isn't as much as Border Patrol which lost its AUO at 25%.....How can you make your bills with 25% of your check cut?!!

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

    I strongly support reducing taxpayer paid vacations. That would save a great deal of money, much more than his "gift" back!

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

    That's 5% of his presidential salary, not his total income which includes investments, book royalties, etc. His presidential salary is $400,000, the equivalent of $33,333 per month. His 5% contribution amounts to $20,000. While I'm glad he is making the contribution, it's not really a burden since, as president, his salary is in addition to other perks – no car expenses, no health or life insurance costs, no mortgage or rent, etc. Much of what we citizens pay for on a daily basis are provided to him above his salary. Yes, that's the way it is with every president. I'm not comparing him to other presidents. I'm simply saying his 5% contribution is more symbolic than anything else.

    April 3, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  16. davecu

    I'd be more impressed if he gave up a few rounds of golf and if Moocelle gave up a few secretaries.

    April 3, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  17. Dwayne

    To use the same confounded argument that democrats always scream – that the rich can afford to pay more since the pain is less on the larger the paycheck, this paltry 5% is no more than a paper cut to the president, where as a 5% cut in pay to someone making only $30,000, is a whole lot bigger. All this is a publicity stunt to get people to think Obama is the poor man's president. Wait till the Obama Health Care costs hit people across the board next year. Then we'll hear some crying, but I bet the democrats wil figure a way to throw some more welfare at the "poor" to cover those costs too.

    April 3, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  18. yhz2pvd

    I think that it is crazy that the Presidents salary of $400,000 can not legally be "touched" because it is set into law, while others are forced to take paycuts, laid off with out pay.... I do commend the President for writing a check back to the Treasury for 5% of his salary, on a monthly basis but that only works out to be $1666.66, or $20k per year. Like mentioned above I am sure the most recent split vacation when the First Lady and kids when to Colorado and the President went gofling with Tiger Woods cost the tax payers a hell of a lot more than $20,000 when you factor in the cost of fuel for the aircraft and all the Secret Service detail! I would like to see the President cut a check for the cost of his security detail for personal vacations.

    April 3, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  19. Rob

    Hats off leading by example. The people may one day realize how great the president is.

    April 3, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  20. Jim A

    I'd like to make the suggestion that each member of Congress do the same as the people in the article did. In the end it may not add up to a lot but it will show soladarity with the federal workers that lost pay or went on furlough. Congress doesn't have any problems spending the tax payers dollars, it's about time they felt the pinch in their pocketbooks!

    April 3, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  21. jamesd

    Only the ignorant right could spin this as a negative.

    April 3, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  22. Dave G

    ooh 5%. considering the rest of the federal employees will take a 20% pay cut per pay period overall. This seems like a slap in the face.

    April 3, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  23. ColdWarVet

    COnsidering he got millions from all those green energy companies that got federal money, not much of a gesture.

    April 3, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  24. hany

    before any of you right wing nut jobs jump all over this and complain its not enough.....remind yourself of when the last time you gave up 1% of your paycheck for a could cause let alone 5%....yes its a small amount considering what he makes but its something....I would not want my president giving up half of his paycheck and living like a commoner ...hes the president for god sakes....he is responsible for the countries safety and the stress that is associated warrants way more than what he gets paid

    April 3, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  25. Lobelia

    Say what you want about Obama, but he knows how to play the game.

    April 3, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
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