Kass was referring to Shin Inouye, a White House spokesman.

Pressed on whether he was joking, Kass said he did not know if he was actually being furloughed.

"We have a budget meeting ... in the briefing room is all I can say," Inouye said.

The White House has said that as many as 480 employees at the Office of Management and Budget — a department within the Executive Office of the President — could be furloughed. But White House press secretary Jay Carney has not provided information on whether West Wing or White House residential staff also face cutbacks, saying simply that staffers are reducing travel and supply use.

"And as the impact of the sequester progresses, furlough and pay cuts remain possibilities — or additional furloughs, as well as pay cuts, remain possibilities for additional White House employees," Carney said last week.