WASHINGTON, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama Wednesday announced pay freezes for his White House staff as he swore them into their new positions.
In ceremonies at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Obama also instituted executive branch ethics reforms that are meant to slow down the "revolving door" between government service and the lobbying industry.
"Some of the people in this room will be affected by the pay freeze, and I want you to know that I appreciate your willingness to agree to it, recognizing that it's what's required of you at this moment. It's a mark of your commitment to public service," Obama said. "Families are tightening their belts, and so should Washington."
Under the new lobbying rules, former administration staffers will be prevented from trying lobby former colleagues for at least two years, and also will be banned from working in subject areas they have previously worked on, Obama said.
"Now, the new rules on lobbying alone, no matter how tough, are not enough to fix a broken system in Washington," he said. "That's why I'm also setting new rules that govern -- govern not just lobbyists, but all those who have been selected to serve in my administration."