|White House Tours Are Back On|
|Mary Bruce (@marykbruce)||Oct 18, 2013, 4:00 PM|
The White House is reopening its doors to tourists seven months after public tours were cancelled because of sequester spending cuts.
"The White House is pleased to announce the resumption of a limited schedule of East Wing and Executive Residence tours, beginning on Nov. 5," the White House announced.
While tours of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue were previously available five days a week, they will now be run an average of just three days a week.
The Secret Service cancelled the tours in March because of staffing changes that they made to cope with the budget cuts. The move was met with outrage from tourists and lawmakers alike.
So, where did the money come from to reopen the tours?
"Last year's sequestration came midway through in the fiscal year, and we were unable to adjust or re-allocate remaining funding to continue tours while still ensuring enough funding remained to meet all operational needs and avoid furloughing employees," said Robert Novy, a spokesman for the Secret Service. "In light of the new fiscal year, the Secret Service is confident that, based on the continuing resolution, tours can operate while meeting operational requirements."
The tours are only guaranteed to continue, however, until Jan. 15, 2014, when the current funding levels run out.