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Sequestration Blamed for Suspension of White House Tours

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White House tours will continue through Friday, but after that they will not be offered, and the White House says it’s because of sequestration.

“Due to staffing reductions resulting from sequestration, we regret to inform you that White House tours will be canceled effective Saturday March 9, 2013, until further notice,” a recording on the White House visitors phone line says. “Unfortunately, we will not be able to reschedule affected tours. We very much regret having to take this action particularly during the popular spring touring season."

Uniformed Secret Service officers normally assigned to conduct the tours will be reassigned to other security posts because of sequestration, a Secret Service official told NBC News. That will reduce overtime costs and could reduce the number of potential furloughs.

The White House made the decision to end the tours based on Secret Service staffing decisions, a White House official said.

The Secret Service must cut $84 million from its budget, according to the Office of Management and Budget.

The White House website has not been updated to reflect the change. http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/tours-and-events

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