It’s still not clear.
Despite repeated requests by the Washington Free Beacon for an answer, the White House has refused to say whether President Obama took, as promised, a five percent pay cut in solidarity with federal employees furloughed as a result of the sequester last year.
According to the New York Times, Obama, who makes $400,000 a year, was to write a check for $20,000 to the federal government.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, who had to have been expecting the question, said at today’s briefing he believed Obama had paid back the money but wasn’t sure, saying, “I’ll check for you.”
From the White House this afternoon:
The White House is pleased to announce the resumption of a limited schedule of East Wing and Executive Residence tours, beginning on November 5th. Additionally, the White House will be opening its gardens and grounds to visitors on October 26th and 27th.
Members of the public interested in scheduling a tour of the East Wing and Executive Residence should contact their Member of Congress.
The government shutdown is done, but the sequester that originally halted the tours continues, so it’s not clear where the White House found the money.
According to the Washington Post:
Secret Service spokesman Robert Novy said the tours would continue through Jan. 15 and occur three days a week, on average, though the exact number of days would vary. Before the White House halted the tours in March, they had taken place five days a week.
“Last year’s sequestration came midway through the fiscal year, and we were unable to adjust or re-allocate remaining funding to continue tours while still ensuring enough funding remained to meet all operational needs and avoid furloughing our employees,” Novy said. “In light of the new fiscal year, the Secret Service is confident that through the Continuing Resolution tours can operate on a limited schedule while still meeting operational requirements.”
Either that or the White House decided an effort to create bad PR for the sequester failed and tours might as well resume. Take your pick.