Two more Cabinet members have promised to give away part of their salaries in keeping with the sacrifices federal workers will have to make because of the sequester, according to administration officials.
Secretary of State John Kerry and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano plan to donate 5 percent of their government pay to charities for employees of their respective agencies, the officials said Thursday.
As we noted in recent stories and blog items, voluntary pay cuts have become a trend as politicians and high-ranking agency officials demonstrate solidarity with federal employees who face furloughs and other cutbacks as a result of the government-wide spending reductions that took effect last month.
The State Department does not plan to furlough employees like other agencies for which high-ranking officials have promised to forfeit some of their pay, which makes Kerry’s situation unique.
The secretary of state, who is among the wealthiest of President Obama’s Cabinet members, plans to donate $9,175 from his $183,500 salary. He was worth more than $184 million in 2011, according to his Senate financial-disclosure form from that year.
Kerry is married to H.J. Heinz ketchup heiress Teresa Heinz Kerry.
To date, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Attorney General Eric Holder, Environmental Protection Agency acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe and various top-level Housing and Urban Development officials have also said they will donate some of their pay to charities or send a portion of their salaries back to the Treasury.
Additionally, Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), who plans to furlough 26 staff members through the remainder of the fiscal year, has said he would donate a portion of his salary to the Treasury.
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