White House cancels tours: The Obama administration said that starting Saturday, there will be no more tours at the White House due to the sequester cuts.
Starting this weekend, the Obama administration will cancel tours of the White House due to the sequester cut in a move that drew condemnation from Republicans.
It cited cutbacks to staffing that were triggered by the sequester, which is slated to cut $85 billion from number of U.S. agencies.
“We very much regret having to take this action, particularly during the popular spring touring season,” reads a note from the White House Visitors office, according to the Wall Street Journal. The tours, which are self-guided, take place between Tuesday and Saturday.
“Unfortunately, we will not be able to reschedule affected tours,” the note added, according to Fox News. The tours, it added, will remain canceled until further notice.
President Obama and Republican lawmakers have disagreed over how to alleviate the cuts, which went into effect last week.
Some Republicans claimed the White House’s move to end tours is political theater.
“It’s politically motivated,” Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) told Fox. “It seems childish—take my ball and go home.”
Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.) said the White House “belongs to the American People.” She added, “I believe closing the doors of the White House to the American people is wrong.”
In 2012, some 657,000 people toured the White House and visited it for recreational reasons, according to the Journal.
Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) blamed Republicans for not compromising with Obama over how to deal with the cuts.
“It’s very unfortunate. It’s more unfortunate because it’s avoidable. All it will take is some Republicans in the House who are willing to negotiate a truly balanced budget,” he said, according to the paper.
The Epoch Times publishes in 35 countries and in 21 languages. Subscribe to our e-newsletter.