Obamas gave back $20K during sequester

  President Obama followed through on his promise to donate part of his paycheck back to the federal government to back workers who had their pay cut, returning $20,000 to the government.Obama made the pledge in solidarity with government workers furloughed because of automatic spending cuts. Furloughed workers had to accept days away from work without pay.

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The president and first lady returned $2,858 a month over 7 months to the government, according to images of checks posted to the Treasury Department’s website. That represents 5 percent of the first family’s income from the president’s $400,000 annual salary.Most information has been scrubbed from the checks, although apparently the president and first lady are listed simply as “B and M Obama” by their financial institution.Several other Cabinet officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry, Attorney General Eric Holder, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano have all said publicly that they would be giving back portions of their $200,000 salaries.But Vice President Biden, who earlier this month declared he was “the poorest man in Congress,” opted not to.Instead, Biden said he would take a cut commensurate with the number of days employees were furloughed. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius also said she did not plan to give back her pay.“I would say that the president made clear, when the sequester was about to kick in, that he wanted to do this and asked his staff to work on a way for him to do it,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said at the time. “But he — you know, we've made clear that this is a decision that everybody can make for themselves, whether they're cabinet secretaries, other members of the administration, or members of Congress could also make that choice.” This story was corrected at 9:31 a.m.