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Because the White House chief of staff is a federal employee, his salary is a matter of public record and is dictated by regulations enacted by the Office of Personnel Management. Because of transparency requirements, the annual salary of the position – as well as the salaries of all workers employed by the executive branch, including department secretaries – is a matter of public record.
Chief of Staff Salary
In 2014, the White House Chief of Staff, Denis McDonough, earned an annual salary of $172,200, according to the White House’s 2014 Annual Report to Congress on White House Staff. This salary is equivalent to $3,311.54 a week. Twenty-one other senior-level White House employees earned the same salary as the chief of staff, including White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.
Comparison to Department Head Earnings
The chief of staff, the highest-ranking employee in the White House, is paid as a Level II Executive on the Office of Personnel Management’s executive schedule pay scale. Only secretaries and department heads are paid more, on Level I. As of fiscal 2010, Level I Executive Pay is $199,700 annually. This means that office holders such as the secretary of defense and the secretary of education earn about 116 percent of the salary of the White House chief of staff.
Comparison to President and Vice President Salaries
In 2014, Vice President Joe Biden earned an annual salary of $230,700, according to the chief human capital officers council, and President Barack Obama earned $400,000 as outlined by the United States Code.
Comparison to Legislators' Salaries
Senators and representatives earned a uniform salary of $174,000 as of 2014, according to the Congressional Research Service. The speaker of the House earned $223,500.
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- White House: 2014 Annual Report to Congress on White House Staff
- Office of Personnel Management: Report on Senior Executive Pay and Performance Appraisal Systems for Fiscal Year 2010
- Chief Human Capital Officers Council: Memorandum for Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies
- U.S. Senate: Congressional Salaries and Allowances
- Business Week: Does the President Really Make Just $400,000 a Year?
Wilhelm Schnotz has worked as a freelance writer since 1998, covering arts and entertainment, culture and financial stories for a variety of consumer publications. His work has appeared in dozens of print titles, including "TV Guide" and "The Dallas Observer." Schnotz holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Colorado State University.
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