Napolitano, Lew join Obama and cabinet colleagues by taking pay cuts

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Homeland Security Janet Napolitano have joined President Obama and other top members of the administration in taking pay cuts in solidarity with federal workers facing furloughs under the sequester.

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The Associated Press reported that Lew plans to contribute a portion of his salary to nonprofits supporting those affected by the government spending cuts. The Treasury Department said the amount Lew would give up was still being worked out.

The New York Times reported that Napalitano, like President Obama, would forgo 5 percent of her salary. 

Attorney General Eric Holder and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel are both forfeiting the equivalent of 14 days' worth of pay — the maximum number of days faced by departmental employees. Cabinet secretaries make $200,000 per year; their 14 furlough days will result in them returning $10,750 to the Treasury. President Obama, who makes $400,000 per year, is returning just under $17,000.

On Wednesday, White House press secretary Jay Carney said that despite a growing number of Cabinet members opting to take the pay cut, the move was not coordinated by the president and was "something that each such individual would decide for himself of herself."

Carney also said that President Obama did not plan to take a deduction on the money he returned to the Treasury, so he would not enjoy a tax benefit from the move.

"Right when the implementation of the sequester was upon us, the president indicated to staff that this was something he would like to do," Carney said. "He was aware, obviously, and mindful of the fact that hardworking Americans across the federal government, across the country would be affected by the implementation of the sequester — the regrettable implementation of the sequester and indicated that this was something he wanted to do."


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