All public tours of the White House will be canceled beginning March 9 due to staff reductions from sequestration, the White House Visitors Office confirmed:
Tours will continue through Friday, March 8. All tours for March 9 and onward have been canceled and will not be rescheduled due to “staffing reductions resulting from sequestration,” the office says.
“We very much regret having to take this action, particularly during the popular Spring touring season,” the office’s statement reads.
The tours, according to the White House tours and information site, are self-guided and, until this announcement, were available Tuesdays through Saturdays.
Although tourists will no longer be able to access the White House, Organizing for Action donors can rest assured that $500,000 still will give them an audience with Obama. As the New York Times reported last week, the new liberal dark money group will host a summit between donors and the president:
But those contributions will also translate into access, according to donors courted by the president’s aides. Next month, Organizing for Action will hold a “founders summit” at a hotel near the White House, where donors paying $50,000 each will mingle with Mr. Obama’s former campaign manager, Jim Messina, and Mr. Carson, who previously led the White House Office of Public Engagement.
Giving or raising $500,000 or more puts donors on a national advisory board for Mr. Obama’s group and the privilege of attending quarterly meetings with the president, along with other meetings at the White House. Moreover, the new cash demands on Mr. Obama’s top donors and bundlers come as many of them are angling for appointments to administration jobs or ambassadorships.
A call to the White House Visitors Office Information Line for further explanation prompted a recording stating that sequestration was to blame for the cancellations, and to call the same number for more updates.