“The White House has some improvement to make along that measure as well,” Earnest said, when asked why women at the White House make 88 cents for every dollar earned by a man.
President Obama often rakes Republicans over the coals for not backing equal-pay legislation, accusing GOP members of endorsing outdated economic policies.
At the same time, however, the White House insists that it is doing better than the country at large in ensuring women receive fair paychecks — despite their own shortcomings.
“The people who have the same title make the same amount,” Earnest said. “Essentially, they get equal pay for equal work. There’s no question that’s the case.”
“The White House performs significantly better than the private sector does,” Obama’s top spokesman added.
Republicans counter that statistics about pay discrepancies between men and women are complicated, with females often choosing to take different types of jobs than their male counterparts, for reasons including childcare and flexibility.
The White House released salary figures this week showing that 456 staffers make nearly $38 million annually. The average salary at the White House amounts to more than $82,000 a year.
With females making less than males overall, the White House was left scrambling Wednesday to explain the discrepancy.
"I wouldn’t hold up the White House,” Earnest explained, “as the perfect example here.”