Sequester politics have taken a weird turn. Joe Biden is now the subject of a spate of negative-sounding headlines because he isn't returning part of his salary in solidarity with federal workers about to be furloughed. (See this headline at CBS News or this one at Reuters.) President Obama has said he will do so—though critics are calling him a cheapskate—as have others, including Chuck Hagel, John Kerry, Janet Napolitano, and Jack Lew. Biden, though, is conspicuously absent.
The VP's office says he might change his mind if members of his own staff lose pay, reports Politico. "The vice president is committed to sharing the burden of the sequester with his staff," says the statement. Why the reluctance, especially for a potential 2016 candidate? One possible reason is that Biden is a man of relatively modest means, with a net worth figured to be under $1 million, notes the National Journal. “It is a more difficult calculus for members who are not as wealthy,” says a senior Democratic Senate aide.