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Sequestered! No More White House Tours … For Now

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Lee Brenner

By Lee Brenner on March 6, 2013

In what can be interpreted as a “shot across the bow” act, the White House announced Tuesday that as a result of to sequestration cutbacks, tours of the White House will be canceled starting Saturday, March 9.

“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,” said an email the White House Visitor’s Office sent congressional offices Tuesday afternoon. “Unfortunately, we will not be able to reschedule affected tours.”

whitehouseFrom 8th grade trips to family vacations, one of the main requests of Congressional offices when Americans visit Washington, DC, is a tour of the White House.

So, now, Congressional staffers (assuming they still have a job after Congressional cutbacks go into effect) will have to tell constituents that tours of the Executive Mansion aren’t available. Additionally, any tours that have been previously scheduled and ticketed will leave Americans banging at the gates (I’m assuming the security will still be on-hand, so no jumping the fences).

In an interview on SiriusXM’s “Politics Powered by Twitter” on Tuesday, Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews), Washington Correspondent for Cox Media Group, suggested that Republicans will quickly jump on this move as “political” and will soon be offering Capitol tours as an alternative, to suggest that they are still “in business” working for the American people.”

Could this be a PR move gone bad for the White House? Time will tell, but the responses and reactions have begun. Representative Tom Graves (R-GA) issued a statement that read in part:

“As the White House doors are slammed in the face of the average American, I want to know if they will still swing wide open for Hollywood and the liberal elite. Will Jay-Z and Beyoncé still get to stop by for a tour, or will they be denied like those who aren’t rich and famous? Will someone who donates half a million dollars to Organizing for Action get a tour, or will they be denied just like someone from Summerville, Ga., who might drive 10 hours for a self-guided tour? The American people deserve to know if this also spells the end for wild, 2 a.m. parties at the White House with celebrities like Katy Perry and Swizz Beatz.”

And the GOP reactions continued on Twitter, as well:

Lee Brenner is HyperVocal’s White House reporter.

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