President Obama will return 5 percent of his salary to the U.S. Treasury when other federal workers are being furloughed as part of the mandatory budget cuts that took effect earlier this year, NBC News has confirmed.
The New York Times, which broke this story, adds:
The voluntary move would be retroactive to March 1 and apply through the rest of the calendar year, the official said. The White House came up with the 5 percent figure to approximate the level of automatic spending cuts to non-defense federal agencies that took effect that day.
“The president has decided that to share in the sacrifice being made by public servants across the federal government that are affected by the sequester, he will contribute a portion of his salary back to the Treasury,” [an administration] official said.
A White House aide tells NBC's Chuck Todd that the salary for the president, as with members of Congress, is set by law and cannot be changed. However, the president has decided that to share in the sacrifice being made by public servants across the federal government, he will contribute a portion of his salary back to the Treasury.
Guidance on how this will work: The president will contribute 5 percent of his full annual salary by writing a check to the Treasury every month. This will be effective March 1, but the president will cut the first check this month.