Visitors to D.C. looking for a tour of the White House are out of luck. Starting this Saturday, the public tours are on hold indefinitely due to sequestration. The Secret Service says canceling the program saves $74,000 a week.
Tourists taking photos outside the executive mansion were disappointed. Maria Zeitlin of New York said, "I came from Long Island and we have a lot of emotional attachment from 9/11." She learned her request for a tour was rejected in an email from Senator Charles Schumer's office earlier in the week.
A video upload by a group of sixth grade students in Iowa received more than 1,500 "likes" on Facebook. Their tour of the White House scheduled for March 16, is now canceled. "The White House is our house," the children state in unison. "Please let us visit." When asked about it, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, "It is extremely unfortunate that we have a situation like the sequester that compels the kinds of tradeoffs and decisions that this represents."
Some republicans say the administration is shutting down the tours as a publicity stunt. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) is proposing an amendment to budget legislation that would ban the President from golfing trips until the tours resume.