UPDATE 2:00 pm EST: White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday that he believes the president has kept his word and took a pay cut in 2013:
It is unclear whether President Barack Obama followed through on a 2013 promise to take a 5 percent pay cut — and the White House has been awfully quiet on the issue.
In April of 2013, after Congress had already enacted the automatic across-the-board spending cuts known as sequester, Obama pledged to take a 5 percent cut in his pay to show “solidarity” with federal workers who were furloughed.
“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 in 2013.
The gesture, according to the Washington Free Beacon, was “meant to equate to the level of spending cuts imposed on nondefense federal agencies.”
The president currently makes approximately $400,000 per year, according to his tax returns.
Further, in 2013, Obama took in approximately $394,796 from the Defense Financing and Accounting Service, a federal agency that handles payment to non-military 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 Beacon reported.
Now, it’s important to note that the president’s salary is set by law and cannot be amended arbitrarily in the middle of the fiscal year.
However, when Obama made his pledge to stand with furloughed federal workers, a White House aide said that the president would do this by writing “a check to the government” every month for the rest of the year, the New York Times reported.
The final total that Obama would have paid through 2013 would have amounted to roughly $20,000.
Numerous inquires from the Washington Free Beacon and TheBlaze as to whether the president followed through with his pledge officials have been met almost total silence.
“I don’t have that information,” a White House staffer told the Beacon over the phone.
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This post has been updated.
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