Inhofe: Donating pay over sequester ‘childish,’ public relations stunt

The top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee is not impressed by President Obama, Defense Secretary Chuck HagelChuck HagelLobbying World The US just attacked Syria. So where's Congress? Senators tear into Marines on nude photo scandal MORE and others donating part of their paychecks in solidarity with those affected by sequester.

Sen. James InhofeJames InhofeSenators urge Trump to do right thing with arms sales to Taiwan McCain strikes back as Trump’s chief critic Turbulence for Trump on air traffic control MORE (R-Okla.) told a small group of reporters Tuesday that he thought the move was “childish” and little more than a public relations stunt.

“I think that’s kind of childish because it doesn’t really accomplish anything,” Inhofe said. “Apparently they weighed public opinion and they think it’s a plus, so they’re doing it. I probably will not follow their lead.”

Defense officials have been setting the trend for salary donations that are tied to the sequester.

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Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter told the Senate Appropriations Committee back in February that he would donate the portion of his salary equivalent to furloughs Pentagon civilians were facing.

Then last week, Hagel became the first Cabinet secretary to offer to donate a portion of his pay over sequestration.

One day later, Obama said he was donating 5 percent of his salary as a show of solidarity, and a host of other Cabinet secretaries followed, along with several lawmakers.

The military service secretaries also said last week they will donate a percentage of their salaries commensurate to Pentagon furloughs.

Not all of Inhofe’s Republican colleagues agree with his take on the donations.

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamGOP senators want surveillance requests from FBI Russia probe Overnight Cybersecurity: New ransomware attack spreads globally | US pharma giant hit | House intel panel interviews Podesta | US, Kenya deepen cyber partnership Graham gets frustrated in public ‘unmasking’ debate MORE (R-S.C.) praised Carter at the February hearing for offering to take a pay cut, saying it would be “very wise for us to follow your lead as members of the United States Senate.”

Graham told reporters Tuesday that he was donating 20 percent of his salary this year, half to wounded warriors and half to the American Cancer Society.

A survey of Senate offices by The Hill last week found that Sens. Mark BegichMark BegichPerez creates advisory team for DNC transition The future of the Arctic 2016’s battle for the Senate: A shifting map MORE (D-Alaska), Claire McCaskillClaire McCaskillMcCaskill attended reception at Russian ambassador's residence in 2015 Senators question need for HHS cyber office Overnight Cybersecurity: Obama DHS chief defends Russian hack response | Trump huddles on grid security | Lawmakers warned about cyber threat to election systems MORE (Mo.), Mike LeeMike LeeThe Memo: Trump faces enormous test with healthcare bill Three more GOP senators announce opposition to healthcare bill Senate GOP delays ObamaCare repeal vote past recess MORE (R-Utah) and Jay RockefellerJay RockefellerOvernight Tech: Trump nominates Dem to FCC | Facebook pulls suspected baseball gunman's pages | Uber board member resigns after sexist comment Trump nominates former FCC Dem for another term Obama to preserve torture report in presidential papers MORE (D-W.Va.) were also planning to give up some of their take-home pay.

— Alexander Bolton contributed