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 HagelThere's still time for another third-party option Hagel says NATO deployment could spark a new Cold War with Russia Overnight Defense: House panel unveils 5B defense spending bill MORE and others donating part of their paychecks in solidarity with those affected by sequester.

Sen. James InhofeJames InhofeFeds weigh whether carbon pollution should be measured in highway performance GOP chairman: Kids are ‘brainwashed’ on climate change Feds withdraw lesser prairie-chicken protections 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 GrahamGraham: Let special prosecutor probe Clinton emails The Trail 2016: Clinton’s ups and downs Graham: GOP being 'left behind' under Trump 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 BegichRyan's victory trumps justice reform opponents There is great responsibility being in the minority Senate GOP deeply concerned over Trump effect MORE (D-Alaska), Claire McCaskillClaire McCaskillSenate Dem: You can say Trump and his 'friend' Putin founded ISIS Sunday shows preview: Trump's tough week McCaskill blasts Gingrich for comparing Trump to Truman MORE (Mo.), Mike LeeMike LeeThe impact of silence: The incarceration of children who have committed no crime Fidelity denies lobbying for student loan tax break Cruz, Lee question legality of Iran payment MORE (R-Utah) and Jay RockefellerJay RockefellerLobbying world Overnight Tech: Senators place holds on FCC commissioner Overnight Tech: Senate panel to vote on Dem FCC commissioner MORE (D-W.Va.) were also planning to give up some of their take-home pay.

— Alexander Bolton contributed