Obama to return 5 percent of salary over furloughs


US President Barack Obama during a meeting in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC, on Feb. 15, 2013.


Jewel Samad

President Barack Obama is returning 5 percent of his salary in a gesture of solidarity with federal employees facing furloughs.

Today's decision comes a day after a similar move by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

More from GlobalPost: Furloughs and sequestration: Who will suffer?

Obama's pay cut would be retroactive to March 1 and apply through the rest of the calendar year, an administration official told The New York Times.

He plans to write checks to the Treasury Department for the 5 percent amount each month.

March 1 was the first day that the ongoing $85 billion in budget cuts known as the sequester began to take effect.

More from GlobalPost: The sequester: How will it affect you?

An estimated 750,000 government workers are waiting to hear if they'll be among those forced to take 14 furlough days as a result.

The president makes $400,000 a year.

Five percent of that salary over 10 months of this year would equal $16,667.

"The salary for the president, as with members of Congress, is set by law and cannot be changed," an administration official told Politco.

"However, 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."