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. sean

    When Democrats say why not tax the rich a larger percentage, or look badly on successful business people I object. Equally when people object that he is only giving 5% away, I think you are being a bit dishonest. Anything given up is an improvement and shows the right effort.

    April 3, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  2. commiecat

    whatever this guy gets it's more than he deserves...from ONE CENT on down!

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

    Man, I should give 5% of my salary to the government, oh wait....
    In all seriousness, decently intelligent PR move.

    April 3, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  4. AlanK

    So, he is going to give up 5% of his pay and probably spend 5 times that much flying around the country tooting his own horn. Or maybe he will have to take an extra vacation to alleviate the stress that writing this check will cause.

    April 3, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  5. Phil McKraken

    Some of the former presidents used to never take a salary and put it all back.How better to play on peoples heart strings when he spends our tax money like there is no tomorrow.Takes vacations like no other president ever has what a joke."

    You are a friggin moron. Georgie Boy Bush was in office less than he was on vacation. I wish people in those Tea Party States would all secede from the union so we could test out drone airplanes on the fat, lazy and uncoordinated without negatively affecting international relations.

    April 3, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  6. Supporter

    Maybe if all those ablebodied folks that are living off welfare can get off their butts and actually Do something for their fellow Americans then there wouldnt be a debate about bringing illegals in. The illegals are just doing the jobs that us Americans don't want.

    April 3, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  7. Conchytonker

    He should give all his paycheck back. Plus stop with the multiple vacations, golf outings, and campaign trips rubbing elbows with Hollywood elites...and start acting like a president after 4 years of failure.

    April 3, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  8. FL73

    Hornetbut just made the comment "all for show" at least Obama is attempting to encourage and motivate the general public, that he too cannot be exempt from what we need to do as a country to get it back on track. Bush left the white house fully knowing the state of our union, yet he didn't write a check out. And he too is "super rich". All I'm saying... give the man some credit for trying! If you had all the answers, I would "Gladly" vote you into office

    April 3, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  9. sidprejean

    Many CEO's of companies facing bankruptcy take $1 a year?!? In America/ In this century? Is that you, Mitt?

    April 3, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  10. Lara

    It seems very clear that our president (who I voted for twice) can afford to do that–and more, being in the back pocket of nasty corporations. The facts: He appointed Michael Taylor, a former VP and lobbyist for Monsanto, the widely criticized genetically modified (GM) food multinational, as senior advisor to the commissioner at the FDA. That is right, the very same agency that is supposed to protect us!

    And, last week Obama signed the Monsanto Protection Act which basically places Monsanto above the courts, causing world-wide outrage!

    So, c'mon Obama, you can do MUCH, MUCH better with you sitting pretty with offshore accounts!!

    April 3, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  11. K. Owe

    No matter what this man does, people are not going to be satisfied. Considering who was in "charge" before the Obama Administration(s), we would never have seen W make such a gesture. What money he wasn't hoarding to protect from taxes and getting rich off of oil and raising gas prices ..... he used to buy the election in 2000. So hate on haters.

    April 3, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  12. Cory T

    Economy coming back, home prices starting to rise, unemployment falling, drawing out of two wars, and giving up part of his salary. Yeah, what a loser President.
    BTW, out of all the Presidents since Reagan, the Democratic ones have spent the least amount of time and money on vacations...Carter, Clinton, Obama.
    The reality is the complainers are completely out of touch and are just angry that a black man is succeeding at being the POTUS.

    April 3, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  13. Illegals Are Illegal But dont Call Them Illegal

    I hate the left with everything in me. I truly despise you people. You're the most worthless and useless people on the face of the earth. F uk you people. I sincerely hope that all of your kids contract AIDS.

    April 3, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  14. goldengirlsnetwork

    Is there any way that these politicians who give up a portion of their salary can designate that the funds go to a particular program? Wouldn't it be great if they were able to choose to fund Head Start with these funds????

    April 3, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  15. Postmaster

    How about knocking off the expensive vacations you and Michelle take, better yet, pay for them yourself. Not impressed...5%? He's made millions, what a joke.

    April 3, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  16. loops808

    If he wanted show unity he would stop having the secret service protect his hollywood and music star friends that continue to visit the White House and instead use the secret service's time and resources to open the White House tours to the public. Another ploy to pump up this sequestration "disaster." I give credit to most media outlets for not buying into this charade.

    April 3, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  17. Dude

    Keep you salary and stop spending our tax dollars like it's monopoly money!

    April 3, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  18. Nsikan

    Nice to hear that he should give up the proceed from his books – conservatives are attacking labor again!!

    April 3, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  19. B

    @geez...are you kidding? I hope you don't actually think Obama or any president pays for the travel and vacations of their family. Not to mention the security needed to go along and the cost to the local government to secure the areas the president and family will be. Just look at his daughters spring break in Mexico that cost taxpayers over $100,000.

    April 3, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  20. knucklehead

    But federal employees are giving up 10%....

    April 3, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  21. BrianMemphis

    How about cutting the vacations? But Hell it's a start.

    April 3, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  22. thekarl

    I bet he writes it off his taxes next year just like BP wrote off their spill expenses thus sticking the taxpayer and contrary to what Obama claimed at the time.

    April 3, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  23. Don

    Thats $400K too much to be paying a puppet.

    April 3, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  24. emskadittle

    you want him to work for free, now who is the commie?

    April 3, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  25. anonymous

    Caring is better than not caring. Its like the stock market there's losses. Then comes back. Here its like his federal workers are taken a hit on salary.

    April 3, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
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