President Barack Obama has decided to give 5% of his salary back to the government to show solidarity with the federal workers who took pay cuts during the sequester.
According to White House sources, Barack Obama will surrender 5% of his compensation in an effort to do his part during the period of fiscal cutbacks, the Associated Press reported.
The president’s move comes as hundreds of thousands of public service workers will be sent home without pay for a number of days over the next six months in an effort to cut spending.
The US President’s annual salary is $400,000, meaning that a 5% pay cut would amount to $20,000 for the year.
That said, it is unclear whether Barack Obama will extend this measure so that it lasts a year, and he will only likely continue it as the sequester is in effect.
As a result, the cut will be retroactive, starting at the beginning of this month as that is when the sequester went into effect.
The cut will amount to about $1,666 per month.
Barack Obama isn’t the only politician making an effort to show solidarity with his lesser-paid colleagues, as a bevy of other Democrats have done the same.
According to USA Today, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and his deputy director Ashton Carter have announced that they will not accept a portion of their salaries during the period of the sequester.
They did not specify how much of their salary they will be giving up.
Senators Claire McCaskill and Mark Begich- both Democrats- have publicly stated that they will be making similar gestures. Cynics could take issue with Mark Begich’s involvement, as he announced plans to work with Republican Senator Tom Coburn to figure out areas to cut the projected $85 billion in spending that is needed to help fix the country’s financial crisis.
Adding to his possible motives, it also comes the year before he is up for re-election in Alaska.
There have not been any reports of Republicans making similar gestures.