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.

[twitter-follow screen_name='politicalticker']

"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. Its all a show

    Also, I am from the town he had his most recent golf outing in. He spent over 1 MM on that trip alone. Man that 20K must really hurt.

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

    hornetbut, your name suits you.

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

    wow a whopping 5 percent, thats will realy show people who are losing everything that he is one of them.

    April 3, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  4. Josh

    Oh thanks for the $20k/yr Obama, how about that $11M trip your daughter took to the Bahamas?

    April 3, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  5. russ

    trump is like hannity, hannity says he is willing to pay for white house tours, shut up and write the check, oh yea, this is the same hannity who said he was willing to be water boarded but never did, same hannity who said terry shiavos friends had told him personnaly that her husband beat her, yet after the autopsy they all were all long gone.

    April 3, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  6. Fiona

    Please! This man's salary is but a small portion of his total income. On top of that, his and his family's housing, household, and transportation expenses are covered. He won't feel this, so why the showboating? It's insulting to those for whom that 5% would mean either meeting their obligations or going into debt.

    April 3, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  7. JT


    How jaded do you have to be to feel that way? He's giving back $20,000 to the Treasury when he doesn't have to; whether you like the guy or not it's a good thing he's doing this.

    April 3, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  8. Kreslev

    While I respect the move, it simply isn't enough. The House and Senate need to do the same. I purpose we cap the salary of Congress at 150% of their state's average salary and the president's salary at 150% of the national average.

    April 3, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  9. GentlemanPlayer

    Nice of the POTUS to do this. For me to be impressed, however, I want to see Every Member of Congress - that's Both Houses, the House of Representatives and the Senate - to give up a portion of their salaries.

    I doubt that it will happen, though.

    April 3, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  10. Snit Detector

    Another show from Oblunder, the worst president in U.S. history..

    April 3, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  11. David

    It's a meaningful gesture and I appreciate it. I realize his bashers and those who think they should sit back and wait for the president should to all their problems will say it's nothing. But what are they giving?

    April 3, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  12. jhawk

    Now will Obama supporters give up 5% of their food stamps?

    April 3, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  13. gretchen

    He won't feel a thing. It should be more than 5%. ALL of Congress should receive less than they are getting, plus give up their perks.

    April 3, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  14. Amazing

    It may be for show but it is important and shows a man who has empathy. Do you hear anyone Congress doing the same? Their mantra is cut costs but just not anything that is important to me personally.

    April 3, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  15. vargvast

    Being he is rich, I would wish he'd give more. But it's more then any of those yahoos in the senate and congress would ever give up.

    April 3, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  16. Bob Blue

    @hornetbut, Obama is rich but he's not that rich and definitely not super rich.

    April 3, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  17. JCal

    This is silly melodrama! Obama is a multi-millionaire, and will easily earn $20M a year when he leaves office. Frankly he reminds me of a talk show host than a president. He always is blabbing all over the place – never a consistent thought or position. And the melodrama .........!!

    April 3, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  18. chris

    silly... symbolism over substance as usual

    April 3, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  19. Shawn

    Having been furloughed in the past (in two states), this is a nice gesture. Doesn't mean much, but it is nice when leaders agree to share in the burdens that they help create.

    April 3, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  20. JamesFotiji

    @ hornetbut....Of course its for show, that's the whole point..."a show of support" for those that are directly affected.

    April 3, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  21. Eli Cabelly

    I would like to see every member of congress match Obama and raise him to 10%. Then we'll see who is willing to stand with workers and who is not.

    April 3, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  22. RA

    This is what they teach them at Community Organizer School.

    April 3, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  23. Cp

    5% is 20K...that's is freaking pennies to him. Impresse us frederal workers (get congress to go along) and you take a 20% pay cut like the rest of us federal workers are taking. Welfare and all federal programs that are waiting for free funds...sorry 20% cut for them to. This country is united remember? When one suffers we all suffer. What a joke and slap in the face.

    April 3, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  24. butreallytho

    Oooohhhh a whole $16,000

    April 3, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  25. Independent Steve

    ...and comments from the ignorant right about how this is nothing in 3...2...1...

    April 3, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18