White House Staff Not Pleased Tours Canceled Due to Sequestration

The White House cancels its tours because of sequestration cuts that went into effect last week.

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Visitors on a private tour leave the West Wing of the White House on Oct. 11, 2012.
Visitors on a private tour leave the West Wing of the White House on Oct. 11, 2012.

Whispers hears that staff aren't too pleased with the announcement Tuesday that the White House is canceling all future tours of the building due to sequestration, the across-the-board spending cuts that went into effect last Friday.

White House staff members are now tasked with informing numerous spring and summer constituents who booked White House tours that the walk-throughs have been canceled.

[OFFICIALS: Sequester to Bite Slowly]

White House tours, which are actually self-guided and take place in the mornings on Tuesday through Saturday (except on federal holidays), are generally reserved through a constituent's congressman or congresswoman. The White House is an especially popular destination in the Spring.

But never fear: according to the Washington Examiner, the White House Easter Egg Roll this April is still a go.

"It's the 'People's House,' " First Lady Michelle Obama was quoted as saying on the White House web site back in December 2012. "It's also a place where everyone should feel welcome. And that's why my husband and I have made it our mission to open up the house to as many people as we can."

[OPINION: Thomas Jefferson's 'War of All Against All']

Contrast that with the E-mail the White House just sent out, below:


From: XXX

Sent: Tuesday, March 05, 2013 2:04 PM


Subject: ***Important White House Tours Update***

ATTN Interested Parties,

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.

We very much regret having to take this action, particularly during the popular Spring touring season. For updates regarding this situation, please contact the White House Visitors Office 24 Hour Hotline at (202) 456-7041.


White House Visitors Office

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  • Elizabeth Flock is a staff writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow her on Twitter or Facebook or reach her at eflock@usnews.com.