Obama Gets Tough With White House Staffers

Obama wastes no time in showing the White House capable of austerity.

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President Obama on Day 1: He's freezing pay for White House staffers who make more than $100,000-- including chief of staff, national security adviser and press secretary, according to the AP.

New rules that prevent staffers from working on issues for which they've lobbied, prohibit taking gifts from lobbyists, and ban lobbying the administration for two years after leaving the payroll, are intended to improve ethics and also to "do something to make government trustworthy in the eyes of the American people," Obama said today.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said in a statement:

These five documents represent a bold first step to fulfill his campaign promises to make government more responsible and accountable, to launch sweeping ethics reform, and to begin a new era of transparent and open government.

Across the country, families are tightening their belts in this economic crisis, and so should Washington. That is why in the Presidential Memorandum Regarding Pay Freeze the President has announced that he will freeze his White House senior staff pay at current levels to the full extent allowed by law. This will enable the White House to stretch its budget to get more done for the country. The President and his staff recognize that in these austere times, everyone must do more with less, and the White House is no exception.

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