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. John Walton

    Thank you,Mr. President.

    April 3, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Maybe he should try living ON the 5%.

    April 3, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  3. Ordnry1

    In response to hornetbut: I am not surprised at your comment because no matter what Obama does, there'llalways be those who'd complain and criticize his actions negatively, regardless or his good intentions. How many presidents including the Bushes, JFK, Roosevelt, etc., have ever offered a cut of their salary?

    April 3, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  4. pplrstupid

    Hey there "all for show" ahh im not sure where you have been... But..the show is over..he was re elected. He has nothing to gain except respect, and he already has that....look at his approval rating....geez buddy give your head a shake

    April 3, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  5. Rojelio

    Hey SpeakerBoehner, could you part with some of your Exxon Funds.

    April 3, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  6. matt

    Yes...all for show...A SHOW OF UNITY. That's the point.

    April 3, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  7. fkb

    He's kidding right. Only 5%. If he's really feeling generous he should cut down on his monthly holidays that he and the first family take every month. Forgo spending $100m on brain research (like thats the most important issue right now). And hopefully not start another war with the koreans....

    April 3, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  8. whatajoke

    hornebut – wether it is for show or not. I do not see the Republicans do a damn thing to stop people from losing their jobs or cutting their pay.

    April 3, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  9. poopyonastickmakesmesick

    What a joke. That's the equivalent of a few minutes of one of his golf trips, or a few seconds of one his families many vacations.

    April 3, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  10. Johnson

    Maybe he should try living on the 5%

    April 3, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  11. lensmith

    hornetbut, How much are you giving back to the US Treasury? For show or not it is a good thing to do. Most Americans would not do the same.

    April 3, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  12. don in albuquerque

    You are correct Hornetbut, however if each member of congress; house, and senate, would do the same we might start seeing something positive. They might actually start acting, and I know this is a streach, RESPONSIBLE.

    April 3, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    5%, BAH! I see all the cuts being made, he should be giving it all up if he really cared!

    April 3, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  14. Drock

    Wow $20,000 will go a long way considering his housing, food and traveling expenses are all paid for incuding his numerous vacations. Way to make a big deal and not give much back Mr. President. I think you should give up 25% as that would probably cover the salaries of 2 fededal employees annually and maybe help support their middle class families they are attempting to provide for.

    April 3, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  15. Guest

    I think all of congress should do the same as Obama and these Cabinet officials, as the reason this furlough is happenning is that they could not compromise as adults and create a budget!

    April 3, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  16. Donald

    Wow, he'd do that for us?

    said no one. Ever.

    April 3, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  17. Rojelio

    SenMcConnell would part with some of his too but his wife is sending his money to China to help support the jobs she sent there while in office.

    April 3, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  18. CarolinaGirl

    hornetbut, come on now give the President his due. I think that is good of him. Now let's see if some of the super rich congress does this. Not going to happen!

    April 3, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  19. someone

    At least he is doing something. Let's see Congress do something.

    April 3, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  20. Jc

    5% of his presidential salary isn't so bad considering he still gets book royalties, but good for him anyway. He created it, so he should lead by example. Things can't be too bad though since they still had the egg roll last weekend.

    April 3, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |

    His $20,000 payback/month does not even cover one-half of one second of increasing national debt. Thanks for the gumball Mickey.

    April 3, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  22. Eazy

    So Federal workers lose 20% and he gives up 5%, even though he's taken 3 vacations this year (cut that).

    April 3, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  23. Phil Jewett

    Now sit back and see who in Congress follows suit.

    April 3, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  24. bigtbone

    Leadership looks unusual to baggers, since they have nothing tangible to reference as an example.

    Thank you president obama.

    April 3, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  25. Vallerie

    Agreed, hornetbut.

    April 3, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
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