President Obama will return 5 percent of his salary to the U.S. Treasury, likely amounting to around $20,000, to show his solidarity with the federal employees who will soon be furloughed as part of the sequester.
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.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said earlier this week that they would do the same.
Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at email@example.com.