In solidarity with government employees facing the effects of the mandatory budget cuts under sequestration, Secretary of State John Kerry will follow President Obama’s lead and give 5 percent of his government salary to a charity that benefits State Department employees, spokeswoman Victoria Nuland announced today.
Kerry’s donation will be on top of his regular charitable contributions. The charity or charities haven't been decided yet.
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Secretary of State John Kerry
“We have a number of employee charities that serve as -- that benefits folks who have been injured or killed in the line of duty. 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,” Nuland said.
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As Secretary of State, Kerry earns an annual salary of $183,500, and 5 percent of his salary is $9,175. But Kerry's wealth -- due to his wife's fortune -- is significantly greater than that salary.
But other major political figures -- including Vice President Biden, House Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell -- have yet to follow Obama's example.
Boehner's office tells NBC News that the speaker hasn't reached a decision yet.
Cantor spokesman Doug Heye says that the sequester has impacted the office's budget, but he declined to answer if the majority leader will give up 5% of his pay.
McConnell's office has so far been unable to answer if the Senate minority leader will give up 5% of his salary. But it maintains that he already returns a significant portion of his office's budget, not just during sequestration.
NBC also has reached out to the offices of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, but has yet to receive a response.