Kerry donates, in sequester solidarity

Secretary of State John Kerry is the latest administration official to give up a part of his government salary in solidarity with federal employees who are seeing a pay cut because of the sequester.

Kerry will donate 5 percent of his $183,500 a year salary – about $9,175 – to State Department charities, spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Thursday. Kerry joins President Obama, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Attorney General Eric Holder in taking a cut in take-home pay.

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“We have a number of employee charities … that benefit folks who have been injured or killed in the line of duty,” Nuland said. “We have a number of charities that benefit children of our employees. We're still looking at the best choice and whether all of the money will go to one, or whether it'll be spread.”

“I think he wanted to ensure that his contribution made a direct impact on our larger State Department family.”

The president and members of his Cabinet and Congress are exempt from the automatic across-the-board cuts that took effect March 1, although many have voluntarily taken a pay cut. Kerry is the richest member of Obama's Cabinet, worth about $200 million.