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Donna Edwards, staff will take 2 percent sequester pay cut

Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.), shown with Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) in 2008. (Lawrence Jackson/Associated Press)

Rep. Donna Edwards has joined the growing tide of government officials tightening their belts in response to the sequester, announcing Thursday that she and her aides will take a pay cut.

In a statement from her office, Edwards (D-Md.) said: “Effective March 1, 2013, in addition to cutting office expenses, all of our staff have taken a 2 percent across the board pay cut to avoid any individual serving the Fourth District from being furloughed in order to meet the 8.2 percent arbitrary, across-the-board cuts called for by the sequester. I will donate an equivalent portion of my salary divided between domestic violence charities serving Prince George’s County and Anne Arundel County.”

Edwards’s announcement came one day after President Obama said he would give up 5 percent of his salary in sympathy with the federal workers who face furloughs because of automatic spending cuts. A handful of Cabinet officials, including Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, have also said they would surrender some pay.

On Capitol Hill, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) has said she would donate a day’s worth of her pay for each day that federal workers are furloughed, splitting her donations between the Federal Employee Education & Assistance Fund and her own office budget, to minimize furloughs for her staff.

A handful of other members of Congress have said they would donate or return a portion of their pay. Lawmakers must make individual decisions on the subject, as Congress cannot reduce its own salary before a subsequent election has occurred.

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