Washington, DC, United States (4E) – United States President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry Thursday announced they will each give five percent of their annual government salary to charity.
The move came in a bid to show sympathy towards federal workers who receive leaves without pay due to recent budget cuts.
President Obama receives $400,000 annual salary – an amount set by law and cannot be changed, said a White House official. Obama is expected to cut checks every month to reduce the effect of sequester, which became effective from March 1.
Kerry, considered the wealthiest cabinet member with $125 million in personal wealth, followed Obama’s lead in returning part of his salary to the Treasury.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, in a statement, said that Kerry would donate a little more that $9,000 as donation besides the substantial contributions he already makes to different charities.
“In recognition of the special circumstances of sequester, the secretary does intend to give the equivalent of five percent of his government salary to an appropriate charity that will benefit employees of the State Department,” she said.