WASHINGTON (AP) — Three Cabinet secretaries became the latest senior administration officials to give back part of their salaries, in the spirit of government spending cuts.
The announcements that Secretary of State John Kerry, the richest Cabinet member, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew will voluntarily reduce their pay came a day after President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said they’d return 5 percent of their paychecks to the Treasury.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Kerry, however, will give his 5 percent to a charity for department employees. She said he already makes significant charitable donations.
Kerry makes $183,500 this year. His donation is worth $9,175.
The former Massachusetts senator was worth more than $184 million at the time of his 2011 Senate financial disclosure form. His wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, is heiress to the Heinz ketchup fortune and is reportedly worth more than $1 billion.
The Homeland Security Department said Napolitano would donate 5 percent of her salary to foundations that benefit Homeland Security staff. Further details were not provided.
The Treasury Department said that Lew would contribute a portion of his salary to nonprofit organizations that are supporting people and programs adversely affected by automatic government spending cuts. The amount of Lew’s contributions and the organizations receiving the money were still being worked out.
Associated Press writer Alicia A. Caldwell and AP Economics Writer Martin Crutsinger contributed to this report.