The White House is officially closing to tours and visitors because of sequester cuts, as of this coming weekend, according to Fox News on March 5. Critics of the Obama Administration are claiming that this move is politically motivated.
The White House tours are usually booked through members of Congress, and the tours are self-guided tours. The staff reductions mentioned in the announcement could not be that significant which leads to the impression that this is a calculated move in the ongoing chess game of sequestration.
According to the Seattlepi.com, the emails sent to Congressional staffers read as follows:
“Due to staffing reductions resulting from the sequester, we regret to inform you that White House tours are canceled effective Saturday, March 9, until further notice,” the administration informed House and Senate offices. “We very much regret having to take this action, particularly during the popular spring touring season.”
After Secretary John Kerry’s announcement of the $250 million in aid to Egypt, it seems quite odd that the “people’s house” is closed to the “people” due to budget reasons.
The battle over sequester cuts seems to hinge on the Republicans refusal to give the president any more tax increases in exchange for spending cuts. These forced spending cuts involved in the sequester are only 2-3% of the budget, but they are not spread proportionately across the budget. For instance, the military will sustain 8 percent across the board in defense spending, not including personnel.
So, until further notice, we the people are officially locked out of our house!