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White House releases staff salaries, touts closing the gender wage gap

Of the White House employees appointed by Biden, women earn $93,752 on average, while men earn $94,639, according to a fact sheet shared by the White House.
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Covid 19
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris share a moment in the Rose Garden on May 13, 2021.Demetrius Freeman / The Washington Post via Getty Images

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Thursday released its annual report to Congress on how much White House staffers are paid, touting that the gender wage gap was essentially nonexistent among President Joe Biden's appointees.

Of the White House employees appointed by Biden, women earn $93,752 on average, while men earn $94,639, according to a fact sheet shared by the White House.

Women also make up approximately 60 percent of Biden's White House appointees and 56 percent of his senior staff. People who are part of a racially or ethnically diverse community make up 44 percent of all Biden appointees at the White House and 36 percent of senior staff, according to the fact sheet.

Among some of the higher paid employees are White House chief of staff Ron Klain, National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, domestic policy adviser Susan Rice and senior advisers Mike Donilon and Cedric Richmond, who all make $180,000 per year, as do another dozen staffers. One of the highest paid staffers is Molly Groom, policy adviser for immigration, who makes $185,656.

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that in 2020, women’s annual earnings were 82.3 percent of that of men, and that gap is even wider for women of color. The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the wage gap, according the Labor Department.

In the fact sheet, the White House said that establishing a salary structure that includes pay bands for appointees helped ensure that "regardless of gender or race, those completing similar work are paid the same."

Since 1995, Congress has required the White House to deliver a report to Congress annually on July 1 listing the title and salary of every White House Office employee.

During President Donald Trump's first year in office, the pay gap among men and women expanded to 37 percent according to an analysis by economist Mark Perry of the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank. Perry estimated that the pay gap during the last year of the Obama administration was 11 percent, while other estimates put the gap as high as 18 percent earlier on in his administration.

While Biden has put together one of the most diverse White House teams, that has not insulated him from criticism.

Biden appointed Erika Moritsugu as liaison to Asian Americans in April after some Democratic senators threatened to block future appointees over concerns of a lack of Asian American and Pacific Islander representation.

Some Democrats have also raised concerns that those in Biden's inner circle of advisers are predominantly white men.