(WASHINGTON) — President Obama will return 5 percent of his salary to the Treasury Department, a senior White House official tells ABC News, a sign of solidarity with the federal workers who face furloughs due to the sequester cuts.
“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,” a White House aide said.
The president’s salary is set by law at $400,000 a year, and he will give back about $20,000 this year. The 5-percent cut is the same reduction level that non-defense federal agencies took when the sequester started.
Obama’s total income according to his 2011 tax returns was $789,674. That figure includes his investments and book sales, which are not part of his 5-percent give-back.
The president will cut a check to the Treasury Department each month. The 5-percent cut started on March 1, but the president will write the first check this month.
This was first reported by The New York Times.
Earlier this week, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced that they would return a portion of their salaries in a sign of solidarity with the Pentagon’s civilian employees who will be furloughed for 14 days due to the sequester. Carter said he would take a 20-percent reduction in pay through the end of September, but it is unclear how much of a cut Hagel will take.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Tom LoBianco, Deirdre Walsh and Tal Kopan, CNN
Ruth Brown, Idaho Press-Tribune