WASHINGTON, (UPI) — Public tours at the White House have been canceled due to the automatic $85 billion in across-the-board cuts to federal spending, administration officials said.
The move, told to congressional offices Tuesday by email, drew jabs from congressional Republican aides who questioned the Obama’s administration’s commitment to transparency and open government, Politico reported.
Public tours are set up by the offices of members of Congress.
“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,” the White House email said. “We very much regret having to take this action, particularly during the popular spring touring season.”
A senior administration official confirmed the cancellations to Politico.
“So much for the most open administration in history,” the congressional GOP aide said. “I guess the only way for the public to visit the White House now is to donate to Organizing for Action,” the president’s non-profit organization.