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 HagelThe US just attacked Syria. So where's Congress? Senators tear into Marines on nude photo scandal Lobbying World MORE and others donating part of their paychecks in solidarity with those affected by sequester.

Sen. James InhofeJames InhofeTaiwan deserves to participate in United Nations Optimism rising for infrastructure deal Repeal of Obama drilling rule stalls in the Senate 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.

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 GrahamRussian interference looms over European elections Graham: I’m ‘all in’ for Trump Graham: US on a collision course with North Korea 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 McCaskillFive takeaways from the Georgia special election Picking 2018 candidates pits McConnell vs. GOP groups Potential McCaskill challenger has .7M: report MORE (Mo.), Mike LeeMike LeeTrump should work with Congress to block regulations on prepaid cards Sweeping change at DOJ under Sessions Executive orders alone can't create sustainable deregulatory change MORE (R-Utah) and Jay RockefellerJay RockefellerObama to preserve torture report in presidential papers Lobbying world Overnight Tech: Senators place holds on FCC commissioner MORE (D-W.Va.) were also planning to give up some of their take-home pay.

— Alexander Bolton contributed