Did the President Take a Pay Cut Like He Promised? White House Won’t Say
Year after pledge, confusion over whether Obama is writing checks
BY: Elizabeth Harrington
May 19, 2014 3:45 pm
The White House is refusing to confirm whether President Barack Obama followed up on his pledge to take a five percent pay cut due to sequestration last year.
Obama promised last April to take a 5 percent pay cut in “solidarity” with federal employees who were furloughed as a result of the automatic budget cuts, known as the sequester. The cut was meant to equate to the level of spending cuts imposed on nondefense federal agencies.
“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,” a White House official said at the time.
According to his tax returns, Obama is still receiving the presidential salary of $400,000 per year. Last year, he earned $394,796 in wages from the Defense Financing and Accounting Service (DFAS-CIVPAY), which handles the salaries for civilian members of the Defense Department.
Obama’s income was commensurate to his salaries in recent years. He took in $395,188 in 2010, $394,821 in 2011, and $394,840 in 2012. The salary is also comparable to what former President George W. Bush received in 2007, when he earned $397,839.
The president’s salary is set by the U.S. code, and cannot be legally changed in the middle of a presidential term. However, at the time of Obama’s promise, the White House official said Obama would “write a check to the government” each month, according to the New York Times, beginning last April.
The official also promised that the president would take the cut for the entire year, amounting to roughly $20,000.
The White House would not respond to numerous requests submitted by the Washington Free Beacon to the White House press office to confirm that Obama did, in fact, write checks to the Treasury.
When reached by phone, a White House spokesperson said, “I don’t have that information.”