(Updates with details)
WASHINGTON Jan 26 U.S. President Barack Obama will freeze the salaries of senior White House officials and other top political appointees for savings of $4 million in fiscal 2011, a senior administration official said on Tuesday.
The official told Reuters that Obama, in his State of the Union address on Wednesday, would likely mention the move, which will expand on the pay freeze he ordered last year.
That freeze affected White House staff earning more than $100,000 a year. It will be expanded to include political appointees working across the executive branch and in all agencies. The total number of people affected will be 1,200 for a saving of $4 million in fiscal 2011 beginning Oct. 1, the official said.
For the second year in a row, Obama will also eliminate bonuses for political staff across the executive branch, which will affect 3,000 people, the official said on condition of anonymity.
"Across the country, families and companies are making tough choices and the president is asking political appointees to be part of a government that is more careful and responsible with taxpayers' dollars," the official said. "These are difficult times."
Obama, who is under public pressure to rein in the record U.S. deficit and government spending, is also expected to announce a three-year freeze on spending on some domestic programs, saving $250 billion by 2020, officials told Reuters earlier. (Reporting by Ross Colvin; Editing by Peter Cooney)