House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) sent a letter Tuesday encouraging his constituents to visit the U.S. Capitol after the Obama administration announced that all White House tours are being cancelled because of $85 billion in budget cuts known as sequestration.
Sequestration, as you may know, is the term for the mandatory federal budget cuts that went into effect March 1 under the terms of a bipartisan budget law enacted in 2011. Under sequestration, federal agencies and offices are required to find ways to reduce unnecessary spending within their budgets, and to do more with less, as many American families are being forced to do in the current economy.
While I’m disappointed the White House has chosen to comply with sequestration by cutting public tours, I’m pleased to assure you that public tours of the United States Capitol will continue. Under the leadership of the House officers and their teams, who oversee daily operations in the Capitol in consultation with the Office of the Speaker, planning for the possibility of sequestration has been underway for some time. Consequently, alternative spending reductions have been implemented within the Capitol complex to ensure public tours and other regular activities can proceed as they normally would.
I encourage you and your family to visit the U.S. Capitol during your trip to Washington, D.C.