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. Richard Long

    He's making up the loss with the fundraising in California that he will be doing (instead of running the country). $22,000 for a picture with the Prez and 'exclusive' access to one of the banquets (travel expenses and Secret Service on your dime). Wonder how much he gets from the $500,000 people pay for OFA meetings?

    April 3, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  2. Chuck

    Mr. Hornetbut accurately observes,"peanuts..obama is rich and will be super rich when he gets out of office..big deal ..all for show,,"

    It's just political theater.

    In many respects, it paints the president as weak when the best thing he can do to get his name into the headlines and to show some leadership is to write a personal check for a few thousand bucks.

    April 3, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  3. tigger211

    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.

    April 3, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  4. TheRational

    Two better ideas. Cut waste and not people, and submit a friggin budget that actually has a chance of getting passed.

    April 3, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  5. smanaher

    How about cutting it down to what someone makes at minimum wage? Now that would be a news story!

    April 3, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  6. matt

    nice gesture..congress and senate should be next

    April 3, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  7. ST

    Just wait and see how greedy people are especially those who voted the sequester to take place. They will pretend they don't see or hear who are coming up to show solidarity.

    April 3, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  8. pink hase

    reply to hornetbut: How much are you giving? He does not have to give anything. This is a gesture from his heart, something you seem to be missing. Stop counting someone else's pennies, and telling them how to save, spend or earn. Put your money where your mouth is. Oops! first you must remove your foot.

    April 3, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  9. dan

    What about 5% of his book income and 5% of his expense for his golf outings and 5% of his family vacation expense, I can see why he became a politician, he lies with such ease that I doubt a lie detector could teel the difference.

    April 3, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  10. brad

    Yup, peanuts! Who is he fooling? The guy is a public speaker. He will CLEAN UP when it comes to making paid public appearances when his term is over, probably 10x more than Clinton has made. The guy is super rich. This is just for show. All show.

    April 3, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  11. nikos

    I would give up my whole salary and write another book.

    April 3, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  12. bob baden

    Hey Hornetbut: I don't see any of the Republicants stepping up. Though it may be a show I don't see anyone from the RED side doing anything.

    April 3, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  13. Dave

    Okay, now let's see Congress match him!

    Let's just see them fail to lead yet again.

    April 3, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  14. Chris

    Another laughable move by Obama. Can't we ask the rich to pay a little more? Yes, Mr. President, that means you too.

    April 3, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  15. Peach

    How about your 50 vacations that you take a year? You and your wife and kids????? How many spring breaks did they get 1 Bahamas 1 Idaho at the tax payers expense. Nice......

    April 3, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  16. Matt

    It's not like he's already a millionaire from book sales or anything...

    April 3, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  17. Guest

    I finally stopped laughing but my stomach still hurts.....so, the spender in chief will give a whopping 5% in a show of solidarity but not accept any part of the blame for why we're here? 5% doesnt even cover a white house vip concert, a golf outing with tiger, a ski trip to aspen or visit to atlantis.........you cant make this sheet up!

    April 3, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  18. Charlie Daniels

    20k a year of the tax payers money – How about some of your fiction book money?

    April 3, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  19. Jim

    As a DoD federal employee, I'd be impressed if he were to match the 20% of income that I'm going to lose!
    Jim in Ridgecrest CA

    April 3, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  20. SHADES

    that snivveling little look at me look at me loser

    April 3, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  21. Kevin Ware

    Still more than most presidents would do...

    April 3, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  22. Brandon

    In this day and time for anyone to freely give money back to Uncle Sam which I am sure is not tax write off is a gesture we can all respect.

    April 3, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  23. Haole

    OK, are you willing to do the same thing? Just for show!

    April 3, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  24. roger

    Oh wow, now we'll have all the mainstream media drooling and wetting their pants over this. He's such a role model second only to Jimmy Carter. If he wanted to do something he would admit that his healthcare bill is nothing like he presented and have a bi-partisan group redo it. Just another stunt. He'll probably spread fear saying that because he took the cut in pay he and Michelle may need to pick an American family every week to sleep over at. Oh god no. The humanity of it all.

    April 3, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  25. sundance68


    Your a real horse's ass....a DUMBOCRAT no doubt.

    April 3, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
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