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. Gerald

    He will probably write the check out from his campaign fund.

    April 3, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  2. Two Party "System"

    Never had a job in his life. Maybe he can ask Joe for advice when he gets stumped about how capitalism works . Oh wait, Joe never had a job either. Too funny.

    April 3, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  3. D. J. Baranuk

    Now if he can only give up his presidency !

    April 3, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  4. Mike

    Who cares if it is all for show? Most president's in the modern age leave the office rich because of book sales and then speaking tours. Obama is no different. Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bush were making millions off privatizing the military to contractors. That's greedy. 5 percent is a small among of a 400,000 salary..but its better than nothing. Unreal..people complain about good acts now??? The United States is going down hill real fast...I'm embarrassed of our citizens. I remember the days where people supported their president's GOOD ACTS regardless of political party.

    April 3, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  5. JazzyJeff

    As a DoD employee, I am moved by the President's gesture, and Sec Hagel's as well. They do not have to do this, but they are. I would like to see all of Congress do the same, since they are equally to blame for the sequestration mess.

    April 3, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  6. Johnnyboy

    That's just money he laundered from the lobbyists. Not from his pocket.

    April 3, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  7. Kitty Smith

    Doesn't even cover one of his MANY vacations. Please shove it where the sun will never shine Obama!

    April 3, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  8. Freeb

    If it was just for show, the all the Rs would be doing it. None of them are, hornet up your butt.

    April 3, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  9. GMan

    You'd never see Rombot do that.

    April 3, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    give credit to where its due.. no resident has done that .. EVER!!!!

    April 3, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  11. vEW2012

    Now, Congress needs to pitch in part of the money they receive from lobbyist.

    April 3, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  12. Rickyricky

    Great Job president! in case that is all show up, we will definitely like to have more people doing the same!

    April 3, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  13. Kelly

    Say what you want about him being rich or doing it for publicity, fact remains that he is not subject to the furlough and doesn't have to do anything, but is still doing it regardless. He's making sure that he's not immune to the decisions he and Congress make, and is contributing just the same.

    April 3, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  14. Richard Long

    He's going to be racking in money when he attends a fundraiser in California (instead of running the country) this week. Glad we picked up his Air Force One and Secret Sevice tab.
    Wonder how much he gets from the OFA meetings?

    April 3, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  15. CNNuthin

    I am normally pro-Obama on many things, but that is not enough. If he wants to "share in the sacrifice" he should give enough to where he is making minimum wage. He is a millionaire already. He can "sacrifice" more.

    April 3, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  16. Scientist Since 1987

    Please take this $20,000. I will get along without is somehow.

    April 3, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  17. greennnnnn

    Hey, hornetBUTT, this wouldn't have anything to do with this being Obama, would it? I work at a university where the new president (as of January) has put a freeze on everyone's salary who makes over $50,000 for two years. This is so he can offer tuition to incoming students at the same rate for the next two years. And, while this president is also on the salary freeze, this doesn't stop him from collecting 30% of his salary in incentives. He now makes $420,000 annually. So, I ask, where's the freeze on his "incentives"? With the incentives, you're talkin' about $550,000. It's all smoke and mirrors. Yet, you are biting on Obama for making a goodwill gesture. You're a tool. And, you act as if he's the only one in Washington who's rich and will be super rich. What have any of THEM done "for show"? Um, nothing. But yet, he's the bad guy.

    April 3, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  18. LOL

    this is only about 5 years too late

    April 3, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  19. Shared_gum

    To all those saying that this is nothing for Obama and that he is wealthy, it is important to note that there are many wealthy people such as the Koch Brothers who are figthing tooth and nail not to give up a dime of their income towards higher taxes, despite having it all. They act as if some small tax rate increase will leave them poor. Mr. President is doing what he is preaching – he has always said that he wants his own taxes raised.

    April 3, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  20. poormiddleclass

    God Bless obama

    April 3, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  21. AnnoyedByPolitics

    Obama is worth millions. So he gives up $20k a year he'll never miss, big deal. Does anyone really fall for this kind of obvious political hack maneuver anymore?

    April 3, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  22. Clint, Wa.

    If it is for show then why don't you do your part and donate 5% of your unemployment check, every little bit helps.

    April 3, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  23. lala

    He can send it to me, a lowly clerk in a Federal office whose wage has been frozen at the 2010 rate all this time. How about making those payments retroactive, too?

    April 3, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  24. Cynic

    His (POTUS) point exactly!

    April 3, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  25. Indie.Op

    Just give credit to where its due.. Whether he is rich or not.. no president has done that in their term... Hes earned my respect.

    April 3, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
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