UPDATE 1-White House cancels tours as a result of budget cuts

Tue Mar 5, 2013 5:16pm EST

WASHINGTON, March 5 (Reuters) - The White House on Tuesday said it was canceling visitor tours of the executive mansion, blaming the recent $85 billion in budget cuts known as the sequester.

For weeks, the White House had warned that the sequester would have a sweeping impact on the nation, causing long lines at airports, closing national parks and slowing the prosecution of criminals.

Despite those dire warnings, the White House and Congress failed to reach an alternative budget deal that would have averted the automatic cuts that kicked in on March 1.

So far, there has been little evidence of a dramatic immediate impact. But the White House appears to be taking a proactive approach to trimming in-house spending.

"Due to staffing reductions resulting from sequestration, we regret to inform you that White House Tours will be canceled effective Saturday, March 9, 2013, until further notice. Unfortunately, we will not be able to reschedule affected tours," the White House Visitors Office said in an email on Tuesday.

Newt Gingrich, a Republican presidential candidate in 2012 and former House Speaker, criticized the move in a tweet.

"Obama should be challenged - publish cost of White House tours - money could be raised to protect public access - this is silly and demeaning," Gingrich said.

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Comments (3)
Robin8888 wrote:
Waiting for the memo that all presidential travel via Air Force 1 has been cancelled due to Sequester Budget Cuts.

Mar 05, 2013 9:27pm EST  --  Report as abuse
chlo wrote:
They will do whatever they feel will play on public emotions, etc. and anything that will benefit their own cause. Politicians, for the most part, do not care about the people they work FOR. Very sad that this country is quickly heading to a very costly revolt instigated by nothing but GREED.
By the way Robin8888…….your comment “Waiting for the memo that all presidential travel via Air Force 1 has been cancelled due to Sequester Budget Cuts.” is spot on!

Mar 06, 2013 11:09am EST  --  Report as abuse
soleman52 wrote:
What a childish game this President plays!! Leaders do not whine or blame others, Leaders fix things.

Mar 06, 2013 6:21pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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