WASHINGTON, April 4 U.S. Secretary of State John
Kerry will donate five percent of his annual salary to charity,
joining President Barack Obama and other officials in a show of
solidarity with government workers forced to take unpaid leave
as a result of deep spending cuts.
Kerry would contribute $9,175 from his $183,500 State
Department salary "to an appropriate charity that will benefit
employees of the State Department," department spokeswoman
Victoria Nuland told reporters on Thursday.
The funds would likely go to charities that support U.S.
diplomats who have been injured or killed in the line of duty,
or that support children of employees, she said.
"We're still looking at the best choice and whether all of
the money will go to one, or whether it'll be spread" between
different charities, Nuland said.
Defense and non-defense discretionary spending has shrunk
across the board as a result of reductions under a process known
as sequestration. To maintain critical functions, many agencies
are making workers take unpaid leave, or furloughs.
Obama's self-imposed 5 percent pay cut from his $400,000
salary would be effective from March 1, when the spending cuts
began, and would last through the end of December, an
administration official said on Wednesday.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will give back the equivalent
of 14 days of pay to the government, about $10,750, his
spokesman said on Tuesday.
Before taking up his post as the top U.S. diplomat early
this year, Kerry was ranked as the richest member of the U.S.
Senate, with a net worth estimated in filings for 2011 at
between $184 million and $288 million.
Kerry, 69, inherited money from his mother's family and is
married to the widow of a wealthy heir to the H.J. Heinz