Sorry, Washington-bound spring-breakers. Your White House tours have been canceled.
The Obama administration announced Tuesday that it will cancel all tours starting this weekend, due to sequester cuts. The move prompted swift condemnation from Republican lawmakers, who described the decision as the latest attempt to make the sequester seem worse than it is.
“It’s politically motivated,” Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., told Fox News. “It seems childish — take my ball and go home.”
Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, declared in a statement that “the people have been banned from the people’s house.”
The announcement is the latest from the administration about the impact of the cuts that went into effect last Friday. Congressional staffers received a terse email saying White House tours would be canceled effective this Saturday.
The email cited “staffing reductions” from the sequester.
“Unfortunately, we will not be able to reschedule affected tours,” the notice said. “We very much regret having to take this action, particularly during the popular Spring touring season.”
White House tours, which are self-guided, are typically scheduled through members of Congress. Visitors can request a tour through their representative up to six months in advance.
Anyone arriving after Saturday, though, is in for a disappointment.
A recorded message on the White House visitor’s hotline Tuesday confirmed that the tours will soon be nixed until “further notice.”