Budget Cuts Shut Down White House Tours

News that "the people's house" is no longer open to the public has folks reacting across the nation.
2:13 | 03/06/13

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Transcript for Budget Cuts Shut Down White House Tours
And elsewhere in washington, the president is going to be dining out tonight. And what's unusual, his dinner guests are republicans. They will be talking about the budget cuts, after the white house says they're forced to shut down white house tours. Little kids are disappointed, and people have been e-mailing us today, saying, really? Is that the only way to save money? Abc's chief white house correspondent jonathan karl gets answers about the place called "the people's home." Reporter: For tourists visiting the nation's capitol today, the decision to close the white house has hit with a thud. What do you guys make of this decision that the white house says you are going to cut white house tours? How frank do you want us to be? Reporter: Be as frank as you want to. Basically, it is just . Reporter: These folks came all from minnesota. The white house! Reporter: We talked via skype to a 6th grade class from waverly, iowa, that has just been told their white house tour is canceled. How big of a deal is this? It's very important. They'll remember it for the rest of their lives. And unfortunately, they may remember that this is a sign of their government if they didn't get to go. Reporter: Now they've launched a facebook campaign to get the white house reopened. The message -- the white house is our house! Plea us visit! Reporter: Republicans accuse the white house of playing politics. But the white house says it is spending cuts have sliced $84 million out of the secret service's $1.6 billion budget. And they are the ones who secure the tours. Wouldn't say how much this saves, so, we did some math. Tours are open 20 hours a week and use 30 uniformed secret service officers at about $30 an hour. Toefal saved? 18,000 a week. Cuts or no cuts, here in the capitol building, tours continue. While we were there, we ran into the speaker of the house. President said he has to cancel the tours because of the budget cuts. We're open. And americans are welcome. Reporter: The president is having dinner tonight with republicans at a restaurant just six blocks from here. He took a 20-car motorcade and, of course, lots of secret service agents. Maybe next time, diane, he can save a little money by just ordering in. We haven't heard the last of this. Thank you, jonathan karl.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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