White House to restart public tours
By JENNIFER EPSTEIN |
10/18/13 3:36 PM EDT
The White House plans to restart public tours in November, it said in guidance Friday for congressional offices and later confirmed with a formal announcement.
"We are pleased to announce that the White House will be reopening for limited public tours of the East Wing and Executive Residence," the White House said. Tours will begin on Tuesday, November 5.
Tours were put on hold in March as sequestration spending cuts took effect, when the Secret Service was forced to furlough workers to adapt to reduced spending levels. With a new fiscal year under way and the government reopened, the agency determined that it could again staff the tours "while still ensuring enough funding remained to meet all operational needs and avoid furloughing our employees," spokesman George Ogilvie said in a statement.
Before sequestration, White House tours were conducted five days per week, but when they resume they'll be held just three days a week. They'll continue through at least January 15, when the current continuing resolution to fund the government expires. The Secret Service will determine whether tours can continue based on funding levels in subsequent bills to fund the government, an agency official said.