In A Budget Gesture, Pres. Barack Obama Will Return 5% of His Salary

Source: Peter Baker and Michael D. Shear / The New York Times

President Obama plans to return 5 percent of his salary to the Treasury in solidarity with federal workers who are going to be furloughed as part of the automatic budget cuts known as the sequester, an administration official said Wednesday.

The voluntary move would be retroactive to March 1, the official said, and apply through the rest of the fiscal year, which ends in September. The White House came up with the 5 percent figure to approximate the level of spending cuts to nondefense federal agencies that took effect that day.

“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,” the official said.

Word of the president’s decision came a day after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter disclosed that they would return a share of their salaries commensurate with the pay lost by the department’s civilian employees who are expected to be furloughed for 14 days before the end of the fiscal year.

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