Rep. Tom Reed joined more than 50 colleagues in the House of Representatives to send a letter to the White House urging the Administration to reconsider its decision to suspend its free, self-guided White House tours. According to the Administration, the decision to cancel tours was made in response to the sequester that went into effect March 1st.
"At a time when all Americans are being asked to do more with less, the same should be asked of the White House," Reed said. "We have cut our office budget by more than eight percent but remain committed to providing constituents with the same level of service, including public tours.
"Following a campaign-style tour around the country using firemen, nurses and teachers as political props, the President is now using constituents to make a political point and denying them access to the Washington landmark," Reed continued. "According to the New York Times, a $500,000 donation grants donors access to the White House and yet the President is denying self-guided tours to our constituents, his constituents. The President needs to stop playing politics and start serving constituents."
Reed's office has helped to schedule White House tours for approximately 130 constituents over the next several weeks, including three school groups. The Administration's announcement comes at a time when families and schools are planning trips to Washington for their spring breaks and means these groups will either have to cancel travel plans or make alternative ones.
"We will continue to work to get these tours reinstated and in the meantime, are inviting constituents to tour the United States Capitol Building instead. Our office is working to make adjustments with those groups who already have White House tours planned to make sure they are taken care of and able to visit other landmarks in Washington."