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Obama Cabinet: Who's taking a pay cut?

CNN
Sunday, April 7, 2013 - 9:56am

News that President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel are voluntarily surrendering a portion of their paychecks in a show of unity with furloughed federal workers has prompted other Cabinet officials to take similar steps.

The pay cuts come a month after mandatory across-the-board spending cuts went into effect after the White House and lawmakers couldn't agree on a deal to cut the federal deficit. As a result, some federal workers will endure forced days off, which means lower pay.

Obama will donate 5% of his salary - which is set by law at $400,000 - in monthly installments, an administration official said earlier this week.

The hit won't likely make a large dent in Obama's personal budget, however. The Center for Responsive Politics estimates his net worth to be somewhere between $2.8 million and $11.8 million, largely from book sales.

Secretary of State John Kerry pledged to donate 5% of his government salary to a charity that benefits employees of the State Department, though a specific organization had not been chosen yet. Kerry is one of the wealthiest government officials in Washington, with a net worth of more than $200 million. Hagel, who earns $199,700 annually, will write a check to the Treasury for up to 14 days of salary, according to Pentagon press secretary George Little.

Vice President Joe Biden has not yet seen his salary shrink. His office told CNN Friday he will take a pay cut if his staff is affected by the forced budget cuts.

"The vice president is committed to sharing the burden of the sequester with his staff," said a Biden spokesperson.

Biden's annual salary is $230,700, and his net worth is estimated at $337,000.

The White House has not yet announced plans for furloughs of the vice president's staff, though it did say earlier this week that nearly 500 furlough notices have gone out to administration employees.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will also give 5% of her salary to foundations that benefit employees of her agency, an official with the department said.

Jack Lew, the Treasury secretary, will contribute an unspecified amount of his paycheck to nonprofits that support families and programs that have been affected by the forced spending cuts.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan, whose agency has not yet implemented any furloughs, won't take a pay cut, though a spokesman left open the possibility that could change if furloughs do come to the Department of Education.

Attorney General Eric Holder said in a radio interview Thursday he would volunteer to cut his salary if Justice Department employees are furloughed, which hasn't happened yet. Later the department said that a pay cut would amount to 14 days of pay.
 

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