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. Mr. Flibble

    @Hornetbut – hmmmmmm, I sure don't see any Republicans or Teapublicans willing to do the same. So I guess that makes you a GOP lackey and your comment null and void.

    April 3, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  2. Linda

    I love the Trump comment, so hilarious! President Obama is a wonderful man, so proud he is our President! I wonder what Mitt Romney would have done? He would have kept it, greedy ass!

    April 3, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  3. critical thinking

    Nice but if you really want to see some savings cut 5% of your travel budget, now that would be helpful. Oh and Michele's and the kids. I know it will be tough but that is what sacrifice is Mr. President

    April 3, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  4. KrjMc

    I find this another honorable move by our President who understands how difficult things are for the middle and lower classes. Thank you Mr. President for the acknowledgement that everyone is having a hard time and for your contribution to our country.

    April 3, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  5. Jay

    Big difference between someone making $400k with housing, meals, and transportation paid for (by taxpayers) and an average $50-$60k government employee paying for day care, food, gas, utilities, and car expenses. Save me the drama, keep the 5% Obama.

    April 3, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  6. davehhds

    Maybe peanuts, but many in the house should give up their whole salary and go home because they aren't worth a crap. At least he did something.

    April 3, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  7. m68123

    Wow, what an a hole
    How about the millions you are making from your buddies, selling out America?
    And the millions in speaking fees you will get after your failed presidency.
    Lemmings and sheeple love a loser, you are the best Obama

    April 3, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  8. Mike

    I don't see why he doesn't give it all back. He is stealing it to begin with.

    April 3, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  9. hornetbutsucks

    Hey hornebut, of course it's all for show, that's the point you idiot. It's called solidarity, and it's a SHOW of good faith. It's people like you who ruin this country with your cynical negativity.

    April 3, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  10. G

    $1,700 dollars? Hmmm I want so bad to say thanks for the effort but why so low? The effort is eyebrow raising to a good deed but I can't recognize this as a large effort on his part. There actually were presidents as Herbert Hoover and JFK who donated their salaries to charities, thats commendable and honorable.

    April 3, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  11. ok...

    I'm sure you will find fault with this act of generousity. Go at it haters.

    April 3, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  12. kmcmahon

    Thanks Mr. Obama. I wish we all had that kind of disposable income to give back to our government. If we did maybe we wouldn't be 16 trillion in debt. Thanks for setting an example for all of us!

    April 3, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  13. postangel

    Yes Dutch/Bad Newz, VA ........all for show. dodn't you read the post? 'to show his support for his workforce'. None of their checks will pull this counrty out of trouble, but I would rather have leaders who makes these types of symbolic moves even if only to show solidarity....demonstrate that they GET IT, then have those leader who take their paychecks, benny and perks and scoff at the rest of us.

    April 3, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  14. Name

    Oooooh. 5%. What a sport. The presidency should be a volunteer position.

    April 3, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  15. The REAL TRUTH...

    @hornetbut – peanuts..obama is rich and will be super rich when he gets out of office..big deal ..all for show,,
    So what would you have him do ?? Give it all up?

    April 3, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  16. John

    Ok. Maybe he should just give up his whole salary just to make you repukes happy.

    April 3, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  17. Umpire11

    LOL! So funny to watch a progressive speak out his kazzoo. The argument is always the same – the Rich never pay enough – without recognizing that ALL the people they hold so dear are everybit as rich, if not wealthier than the Conservatives they call out! Talk about bein' played!

    April 3, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  18. Leonora Orr

    While many may THINK that President Obama's offering is so small compared with his overall salary, his GESTURE has an INFINITE potential of affecting COUNTLESS beings; it is ADMIRABLE to see and experience people in prominent positions making movements in directions which CAN affect SO many positively... even for CENTURIES. IF people in Washington, overall, FOLLOW his gesture, it will not only MODEL well in the States at large, it will also make a MOCKERY of those who are SO wealthy, have benefitted SO much for the 99% spending, and OFFER so little. It CAN actually CHANGE the world; I HOPE it DOES! me ke aloha, Leonora Orr, Artist / Educator / Gardener

    April 3, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  19. Statik

    @Hornetbut – But it's more (and better) of a show than anyone from the GOP has done...

    While I strongly disagree with the POTUS on several issues, I find this a step in the right direction.
    Frankly I'm not thrilled with the Mosanto protection act, nor do I support the NDAA's infininite detention clause or any of the SOPA, PIPA, Protect IP or other acts designed to grant police state powers to the Goverment and big business. on the other side of the equation, I also am VERY weary of politicans who are trying to reduce or restrict 2nd ammendment rights while the Department of homeland defense is gearing up for what looks like WWIII.

    no citizen, be they the POTUS, on the SCOTUS, in Congress or average joe should be living under a different set of laws. Frankly *any* sequester should have started with *executive* level pay in the government. If they expect all of us to tighten our belts, they should be first. it's called leading by example.

    April 3, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  20. Joseph Alves

    Whopppity dooo. Meanwhile he uses tax payer money to take monthly luxury vacations.... What does the president even need a paycheck for anyways?

    April 3, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  21. Bob Sather

    Just cut out the crap. When Joe Biden spends $500,000 for one night in a Paris hotel, what makes Obama think that a paltry $20,000 per year is significant.

    How about cutting out golf and keeping Michelle and the kids home once in a while instead of living the Life of the Rich and Famous.

    You can start by canceling the private rock concert at the White House this month.

    April 3, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  22. rose

    HORNETBUT- So how come bush and your cronies never did this. Every freaking president can become rich you dingbat

    April 3, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  23. Thatguy

    It doesn't seem like much and looks like a sho because it's only two people. However if every cabinet member and every member of congress did it then it's impressive.

    April 3, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  24. ken

    Be interesting to see what the GOP trolls say about this good deed. Lead by example, good job Obama.

    April 3, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  25. Marcus

    Too Little Too Late!

    April 3, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
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