Congressman Howard “Buck" McKeon (R, Santa Clarita) is advising his constituents that while White House Tours have been temporarily suspended during the current sequester, their visits to Washington, D.C. can still be interesting and educational.
In a statement released to the public, McKeon is telling travelers they can still make the most of their capital visit even if the White House Tour is unavailable. "Our office is committed to giving you the best possible experience on your vacation. We can set you up with a tour of the U.S. Capitol complex where Congress works, along with tours of the Library of Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court. Be sure and stop by my office and say hello if you are visiting this spring!"
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Last week, the Obama administration decided to suspend the tours to save the federal government money while the sequestration cuts are in effect. Some estimates have placed the cost of the tours at $74,000 per week, mostly due to the cost of the Secret Service protections that must be in place when visitors enter and tour the presidential residence. McKeon and other Republicans have been critical of how Obama has handled the sequester issue and the budget cuts that it has mandated.
Yesterday in a television interview, the President expressed interest in reopening the tours for school groups who have already made plans to visit the capital during spring break. But the final decision to restart some tours is still pending White House and Secret Service approval.
Until then, McKeon wants Santa Claritans to know that their scheduled trip to the nation's capital can still include visits to many other government sites. "Whether you have a school trip, family vacation or veteran’s tour, my office can help make your visit to Washington D.C. an unforgettable experience," said the McKeon statement. "I hope we can make your trip a memorable one."
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