Obama cutting own pay in solidarity with federal workers
WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - President Barack Obama plans to give back 5 per cent of his pay in a gesture of solidarity with government workers who must take unpaid leave as a result of deep spending cuts that went into effect last month.
The president's self-imposed pay cut would be effective from March 1, when the spending cuts began, and would last through the end of December, an administration official said on Wednesday.
Mr Obama earns US$400,000 (S$495,000) a year. The official said the president decided on the 5 per cent reduction, which would total US$20,000, because it would be similar to the level of cuts to non-defence government agencies.
Defence and non-defence discretionary spending has shrunk across the board as a result of reductions under a process known as sequestration. To maintain critical functions, many agencies are making workers take unpaid leave, or furloughs.