Boehner: Canceling White House tours ‘just silly’

John Boehner says the Capitol is still open. (Reuters)
John Boehner says the Capitol is still open. (Reuters)

If you're disappointed that the sequester has the White House canceling tours, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has your back.

In a letter to constituents, he says that the Capitol building is still happy to host — and suggests that the White House could have planned better.

"While I’m disappointed the White House has chosen to comply with sequestration by cutting public tours, I’m pleased to assure you that public tours of the United States Capitol will continue," Boehner wrote.

In the House, he adds, "planning for the possibility of sequestration has been underway for some time," and "alternative spending reductions have been implemented within the Capitol complex to ensure public tours and other regular activities can proceed as they normally would."

Boehner elaborated in an interview with CNBC.

""The president is trying to make it tough on members of Congress," he said. "It's just silly. I want to know who is being laid off at the White House. The Capitol is open for tours. We've been planning for this for months."

Several Republicans have argued that the administration's decision to cut White House tours is simply a publicity stunt designed to make the sequester unpopular and pin the blame for it on Congress. Right now, polls suggest Americans haven't made up their minds about the cuts.

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.
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