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. kayla

    if it is all for show, how come the rest of the greedy gops don't do the same, since they are all about show

    April 3, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  2. @hornetbut

    Damned if he will...damned if he wont...u guys will nvr be pleased !!

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

    This is what we call good leadership, solidarity with Your employes.
    Obama is a great leader.

    April 3, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  4. chester Davis

    Man you like someone putting the baby out with the bath water, it is a good thing he is doing to support now the rest of the gov needs to get off their butts and do the same.

    April 3, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  5. dave in dallas

    of course its for show... but its a good show of leadership.

    April 3, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  6. Rojelio

    Hey Reince Priebus, you should have some money left since you were not able to buy that New York Major seat you wanted so bad.

    April 3, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |

    Now if all the rich Republicans who refused to work to come up with a bill that would stop the sequestration woud give up some of their salaries? One can dream right. Once again President Obama has proven to be a man of the people, even the people who post nastiness here.

    April 3, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  8. ThinkAgain

    @hornetbut: "peanuts..obama is rich and will be super rich when he gets out of office..big deal ..all for show,,"

    If it's such an easy, painless thing to do, then why aren't all the Republicans doing it?

    April 3, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  9. James

    Free's up 20,000 a year now the rest of all politians needs to contribute we would all be better off!!

    April 3, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  10. NotEnuf

    As if this fixes anything. This is nothing but bells and whistles. Why doesn't he write us all a check, we are the ones he has hurt.

    April 3, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  11. barac

    Hey, At least I doing something. What are you (the rich) contributing ?

    April 3, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  12. ByeByeUSA

    Not a big Obama fan but I can dig this, even if it's all for show.

    April 3, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  13. Marie Hall

    To Whom it May Concern:

    I'm sorry, but 5% of $400,000 does not impress me. My husband works at Egllin Air Force base and is getting furloughed. It will equal a 20% cut in salary. We're not young and this hurts a lot. We are in our early 60's and trying desperately to have some kind of retirement, but every time we get a little ahead, we fall several steps behind again. We have tried to do everything right and it has not paid off. We have steep medical bills and this year, I have had to do without a mammogram, dexascan, and colonloscopy, all of which I need. The sad truth is, we are much luckier than many people.

    April 3, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  14. Larry

    What about the rest of the federal employees who are taking a 20% pay cut?

    April 3, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  15. Bill

    How about you do even better for the country Obama, and give up all of your salary by resigning?

    April 3, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    May be peanuts but they don't HAVE to do this. I think it's great they are at least acting like they know what it's like for the working class.

    April 3, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  17. Michael

    If it is all for show why aren't all the fiscal conservatives in business and public office stepping up?
    They certainly spent enough money trying to prevent the President from being reelected.

    April 3, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  18. faithful in Missouri

    I'm waiting for BIlly Long to contribute his lunch money for a month!

    April 3, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  19. ms codpiece

    how will he be super rich? romney is super rich and was only going to give up his salary...big deal....how can you be sure what someone's worth will be after they leave office....i believe there was a president who did not die a millionaire and refused the airs of other post presidents perks...so please...back off the generalizations...

    April 3, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  20. dstark9

    Good for him for doing that. It's just to bad that it really isn't going to matter. People will still whine about him doing it. There is nothing he can do that will make it better with a lot of people. Even if he created world peace. People would still whine. To many whiny people in this country.

    April 3, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  21. K from AZ

    Give up ALL OF IT, since you haven't done anything to earn it!

    April 3, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  22. Reasonable Person

    You're an idiot hornetbut. The president, no matter what party, deserves to make a huge living. I would argue that $400K isn't enough for the leader of the U.S. I give him credit for this act. I know many CEO's that cut their workforce and yet, when bonus time comes, they get huge amounts.

    April 3, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  23. Justin P

    I wish I lived in hornetbut's world where $20,000/yr is "peanuts."

    April 3, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  24. Brandon

    If it's all for show and not a big deal – where is your check?

    April 3, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  25. cc423

    So what hornetbut? I don't see any of the millionaire Republicans in the Senate or Congress doing the same thing.

    April 3, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
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