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 HagelCharles (Chuck) Timothy HagelOvernight Defense: Latest on historic Korea summit | Trump says 'many people' interested in VA job | Pompeo thinks Trump likely to leave Iran deal Should Mike Pompeo be confirmed? Intel chief: Federal debt poses 'dire threat' to national security MORE and others donating part of their paychecks in solidarity with those affected by sequester.

Sen. James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeSenate panel unanimously approves water infrastructure bill Defense bill moves forward with lawmakers thinking about McCain Overnight Energy: EPA moves to roll back chemical plant safety rule | NASA chief says humans contribute to climate change | Pruitt gets outside lawyer 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 Olin GrahamHouse GOP sets three FBI interviews in Clinton probe Trump on collision course with Congress on ZTE The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — GOP centrists in striking distance of immigration vote 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 Peter 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 Conner McCaskillDems seek to chip away at Trump’s economic record The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — Republicans see some daylight in midterm polling Trump urges anti-abortion advocates to rally in November MORE (Mo.), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeTrump has exposed Democratic hypocrisy on prison reform Denial of services to same-sex couples can harm their health GOP Senate primary heats up in Montana MORE (R-Utah) and Jay RockefellerJohn (Jay) Davison RockefellerSenate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Overnight 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 MORE (D-W.Va.) were also planning to give up some of their take-home pay.

— Alexander Bolton contributed