The salaries of President Obama and Vice President Biden are exempt from the presidential executive order Obama signed in his first full day in office that capped compensation for White House aides to $100,000 a year.
At his first White House press briefing, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs today dodged a question about whether Obama and Biden intended to “lead by example” by volunteering to reduce their own salaries.
Gibbs replied that the president’s $400,000 salary and the vice president’s $227,300 pay are set by law and cannot be modified by a presidential executive order.
The U.S. Constitution, in Article II, Section 1, stipulates that the president’s salary cannot be decreased or increased during his term.
But nothing prevents a president from voluntarily forgoing compensation. John F. Kennedy, an heir to his father’s massive fortune, and Herbert Hoover chose not to receive a presidential salary during their terms.
WND placed repeated phone calls to the White House regarding Obama’s compensation and was told the press office would have to receive a determination from legal counsel.
WND also asked if the White House could provide a list of aides affected by the executive order and, specifically, whether the order would apply to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.
The press office said it was not likely White House counsel would have answers available any time today.
The office acknowledged that the executive order issuing the pay cap had not yet been posted on the White House website. The White House said it had no plans to publish the names or titles of the approximately 100 senior White House staff members for whom the executive order applies.