President Obama plans to give five percent of his salary back to the Treasury as a gesture of solidarity with workers who have been furloughed as a result of sequestration, the New York Times reported Wednesday.
The voluntary move would be retroactive to March 1 and apply through the rest of the calendar year, the official said. The White House came up with the 5 percent figure to approximate the level of automatic spending cuts to non-defense 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.
The Pentagon announced Tuesday that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel would return a portion of his salary back to the department. Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) also announced Wednesday that he would give back a part of his salary, in addition to furloughing some of his staff.
“We need to be making responsible cuts wherever we can and there is no reason that members of Congress shouldn't feel the pinch like everyone else,” Begich said in a statement. “This won't solve our spending problem on its own, but I hope it is a reminder to Alaskans that I am willing to make the tough cuts, wherever they may be, to get our spending under control."