Mar 5, 2013 No Comments ›› Jake Hammer
Excerpted from THE HILL: The White House announced Tuesday that it was canceling tours of the executive mansion beginning on Saturday until further notice due to “staffing reductions resulting from sequestration.”
An email sent to lawmakers from the White House Visitors Office said that it would not be able to reschedule affected tours, which are typically scheduled through lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
“We very much regret having to take this action, particularly during the popular Spring touring season,” the White House email said.
It was unclear how many employees from the Visitors Office have been affected by the $85 billion in spending cuts, which set in on Friday.
President Obama and members of his administration have warned that the spending cuts would impact millions of lives, including at airports around the nation.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Obama said, “we are going to manage it as best we can, try to minimize the impacts on American families, but it’s not the right way for us to go about deficit reduction.”
Republican lawmakers expressed outrage at the move Tuesday afternoon on social media networks, with Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) questioning whether Obama would also cut back on his “golf vacations” and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) inviting constituents who had their tours cancelled to instead visit the Capitol complex.
“Rather than do his job and agree to take responsible measures to get our government’s finances in order, President Obama continues playing on the emotions and fears of the American people,” Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.) said in a statement.
“Canceling all self-guided White House tours is the latest shameless political stunt by the president, who is twisting basic government efficiency into an extreme consequence.”