White House tours halted, staff reductions blamed

JIM KUHNHENN Associated Press Published:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- No more chance sightings of first dog Bo?

The Obama administration is canceling tours of the White House beginning Saturday, citing staffing reductions prompted by automatic budget cuts that began to take effect last Friday.

The White House is a popular destination for tourists, especially during the spring break season.

Callers to the White House Visitors Office information line are told that tours already planned will not be rescheduled.

Officials said the cancellations would not affect the White House Easter Egg Roll on April 1.

The automatic spending cuts -- known in Washington parlance as the sequester -- are hitting a myriad of accounts from the Pentagon to education grants.

The White House said the tours would be canceled until further notice.