WASHINGTON — On Tuesday, Georgia Rep. Tom Graves accused President Barack Obama of “playing on the emotions and fears of the American people” after it was announced that White House tours are being canceled because of the automatic budget cuts that went into effect last week.
“Rather than do his job and agree to take responsible measures to get our government’s finances in order, President Obama continues playing on the emotions and fears of the American people,” Graves said.
“Canceling all self-guided White House tours is the latest shameless political stunt by the president, who is twisting basic government efficiency into an extreme consequence,” he added.
The $85 billion in across-the-board budget cuts that went into effect March 1 is known as the sequester.
In his statement, Graves went on to ask whether the White House would still be closed to Hollywood stars and big donors.
“As the White House doors are slammed in the face of the average American, I want to know if they will still swing wide open for Hollywood and the liberal elite,” Graves said. “Will Jay-Z and Beyoncé still get to stop by for a tour, or will they be denied like those who aren’t rich and famous?”
“Will someone who donates half a million dollars to Organizing for Action get a tour, or will they be denied just like someone from Summerville, Georgia, who might drive ten hours for a self-guided tour? The American people deserve to know if this also spells the end for wild, 2:00 a.m. parties at the White House with celebrities like Katy Perry and Swizz Beatz,” he added.
The White House announced on Tuesday that, “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. Unfortunately, we will not be able to reschedule affected tours.”
Meanwhile, Graves offered some southern hospitality to anyone who can’t go on a White House tour. “I’m pleased to report that my staff will remain intact, and yes, we will still be happy to provide a tour of the Capitol and a Coke for any constituent.”