Sharing a bit of budget pain, President Barack Obama will return 5 percent of his salary to the Treasury in a show of solidarity with federal workers smarting from government-wide spending cuts.
Obama's decision grew out of a desire to share in the sacrifice that government employees are making, a White House official said Wednesday. Hundreds of thousands of workers could be forced to take unpaid leave — known as furloughs — if Congress does not reach an agreement soon to undo the cuts.
The president is demonstrating that he will be paying a price, too, as the White House warns of dire economic consequences from the $85 billion in cuts — called a sequester — that started to hit federal programs last month after Congress failed to stop them. In the weeks since, the administration has faced repeated questions about how the White House itself will be affected. The cancelation of White House tours in particular has drawn mixed reactions.