Obama To Return 5 Percent Of His Salary To Treasury In Sequester Gesture

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Obama
U.S. President Obama.

President Obama has decided to show solidarity with federal workers who are furloughed due to sequester cuts.

Obama will voluntarily return 5 percent of his salary to the Treasury Department, an administration official told the New York Times.

“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,” a White House aide said.

Once a month the president will write a check to the Treasury Department and will return a total of about $20,000, ABC News reports. The 5 percent figure represents the same cut given to non-defense federal agencies when the sequester began.

Presidents earn $400,000 a year. The 5 percent cut will retroactively take effect from March 1, resulting in a little less than $1,700 a month, AP reports.

The decision comes a day after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said he would voluntarily take a $10,750 pay cut – the equivalent to 14 days' pay -- to show solidarity with Pentagon employees, Reuters reports.

The sequester is a budget-cutting effort signed into law by Obama in 2011. The $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts will affect a host of government agencies to reduce the U.S. government’s debt. 

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