Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter told the Senate Armed Services Committee today he will give back part of his salary if sequestration spending cuts take place, in solidarity with other civilian Defense employees who will be furloughed to pay for the cuts.

Most civilian Defense employees will likely be furloughed if March comes without a budget deal, Carter said, which will mean 20 percent less pay for each employee.

“Senate-confirmed political appointees like me cannot be furloughed under the law,” Carter said in prepared testimony. “But if our employees are furloughed, I intend to give back to the Treasury the same portion of my salary, and I encourage all of us – Executive Branch and Legislative Branch – to do the same.”