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. geez

    Obama could have offered you 100% of his salary and most of you would have had something nasty to say about it, if it wasn't so sad that so many Americans think this way I would laugh. All most of you can say is something about his golfing or family vacations, my boss is no millionare but he has taken more vacations than the Prez has this year and his job isn't nearly as stressful and he would never take a pay cut to be united with his employees. Give credit where it is due America!

    April 3, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  2. Matt from CT

    I think he can afford $6700 out of his $33,000 monthly paycheck and not miss a beat. It doesn't make it suck any less for those who are giving up $670 out of a $3300 monthly paycheck. Thanks Obama, but you go ahead and keep your money. You too Hagel.

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

    He should be paying us to let him "work". He has not done a dayum thing useful for this country since he pleged allegiance to the flag of the USSR!!!

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

    Why doesn't he give up his entire salary. We, the tax payers, are already paying for his living expenses, his vacations, his kid's vacations, his wife's vacations, his golfing vacations.

    April 3, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  5. 2012liberal

    Thank you president 4 taking the lead AGAIN! GOP NEVER SAW THAT COMING! Always one step ahead of them! Now they will start whining about it. I'm sure McCain and Graham will make their rounds on all the talk shows sunday about it. Ready 3...2...1

    April 3, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  6. Supporter

    I am pretty sure that any republican president would never have thought to cut his/her own salary. So all of you haters of what President Obama has done can stop it.

    April 3, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  7. Jeff

    Good for President Obama! It’s sad that even though he is doing this good deed, people are still going to say horrible things. Just remember people, he is in office because WE as a country put him there. He came into a situation that was a mess and if anyone was expecting him to clean up that mess in 4 years, then they’re crazy. There are a lot of ignorant people in this country that only see the color of one’s skin and that’s sad.. God bless this county and the ignorant people we having living here.
    And for the record – I’m white

    April 3, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  8. Dave

    That's a great start. You lead the country, you should sacrifice also. Don't give us the up to 14 days line though. If all the congress and their staff do the same 5% thats 4.8M, that doesn't include the president and Secretaries of Whatever. Do that while you "serve" our country for every year and it's a start that you want to fix our country. They our elected leaders got us here. More than 100 of them have been in congress for more than 35 years. Talk about sucking the government dry!

    April 3, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  9. tarura

    So, what distance on Air Force 1 would this payback save?

    Not sure, but perhaps a couple inches, LOL

    April 3, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  10. Romeny2016

    The man cant win with you people. Of course its for show, as if anything done in politics isnt a show! You think GWB really clears brush?!?!? Or even rides a horse? No he's a Kmart Kowboy that drives a pickup and plays cowboy to win over the support of the vast redneck population which is 99% Kmart Kowboys

    April 3, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  11. Sandy

    Wait a minute! The righties were praising Romney for giving up his salary as Governor of MA and now the complain that 5% is just a drop in the bucket! Romney is worth almost a BILLION dollars so I guess that was nothing that he gave up, too, right?

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

    He COWERS under the oval deks while America sits and awaits inbound NUKES from N. Korea! What a real sportsman we have for a president!

    April 3, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  13. kgt

    This is a joke, right? He's giving up a whopping 5%! Wow, simply amazing. How about following suit with what many CEOs of companies facing bankruptcy do... taking a salary of $1 for the year.

    April 3, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  14. Let's See

    So to all of you who are complaining: if you made that amount of money would you really give up that amount of money? Especially if you have two daughters you'd want to send to the best schools because you have the means and a wife you'd want to spoil because she's always by your side? He runs the country and can never make everyone happy. Don't you think he deserves that? CEO's get a lot more for less. Don't complain about socialism if you're going to turn around and tell us that he doesn't give away enough of his salary.

    April 3, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  15. Realist

    He should give up his entire salary and payback everything we the people have paid him since he was a senator.

    April 3, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  16. Christina Honigberg

    Well blow me down and call me shorty Obama is going to give up five percent of his paycheck . Any one with any sence will know the boom is about to fall on the general public. Five per cent is like one hair follicle . All I can say is Dear Lord save us from these politicians.

    April 3, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  17. Mark Baird

    Here is a solution for everyone complaining about their income. I will use the same conservative argument. Go back to school in a career that pays more.

    Regarding the 5%. So if 5% is not big deal then let's raise taxes by 5% on everyone making more then 400K.

    April 3, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  18. jonnyg

    The power mungers don't do it for the salary...they make much more money on speaking and appearances after they leave office. It would save tax payers a great deal more if he didn't go on vacation once a month

    April 3, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  19. Payne

    the heck? he gives up 5% of his paycheck that would be enough to fund a single poverty family without issue. its just funny as hell. works in volunteer position makes nearly half a mil every year. soldiers work in volunteer position and are happy to make 25k or so a year

    April 3, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  20. Bobbo

    Give up part of his salary? He overspends his $400k by far and the dems think this is a great gesture? How many golf outings, dates to NYC, family trips to Hawaii, family trips to the Bahamas, parties at the White House? What the hell, he's never had a job and probably can't balance a checkbook. But you dems are just sucking it up, big time. How is that koolaid? Oh, and let's throw in $500M to Pakistan for good faith. People are getting laid off because of the "sequester" and this clown just can't relate.

    April 3, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  21. nickG

    This dude is an actor and this is nothing more than theatrics. Booo

    April 3, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  22. 123

    5% seems a little light, considering the sequester originated from the White House (as reported by Bob Woodward, who was thereafter told by a member of the Obama administration that he would regret publicizing that information).

    April 3, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  23. Bruce Fergerson

    I am saddened by some of these comments. The President is making a good gesture and people want more. I applaud you Mr. President.

    April 3, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  24. Adrian

    II'm a Black Republican. All we want President Obama to do is the opposite of everything he believes in because then we'll start liking and supporting him, but until then: death to Smoochy!

    April 3, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  25. Anderson

    20% whoopy,

    Everything you do is free because of the taxpayer, Give the whole thing back and you're money ahead.

    Most get paid for what they are worth, think about it?

    April 3, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
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