Mar 8, 2013Print This Post
A group of Kansas teenagers says the Obama Administration has ruined their spring break trip to Washington, D.C. after their tour of the White House was canceled – a victim of the Sequester.
“President Obama is just being petty,” said Dalton Glasscock, an 18-year-old high school student from Wichita, Kan.
Glasscock is a member of the Kansas Federation of Teenage Republicans – one of the dozens of high school and middle school groups around the nation that received cancelation notices.
Congressional staffers received an email last week citing “staffing reductions” as the official reason behind the shut down.
“I think he’s taking it out on young people especially,” said Glasscock. “President Obama is using American children as pawns in a game of political chess.”
Glasscock was especially excited about the chance to tour 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. after several previous attempts came up short.
“This is my third time in Washington but it was going to be the first time I got to visit our house – the White House,” he told Fox News.. “I am so disappointed that President Obama would put politics above the chance for American citizens to experience a piece of history.”
The Secret Service confirmed to Fox News that it costs $74,000 per week to provide staffing for White House tours. Agents are paid about $50 an hour.
Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) told television station KWCH that he was disappointed with the White House closure.
“How does telling a Kansas high school group they can’t visit their White House – this isn’t the president’s White House,” he said.
Student Jameson O’Connor told the television station his vacation plans are ruined.
“At first I was shocked,” he told KWCH. “I thought it would be a for-sure thing because it’s the White House. It’s the People’s House. I thought we were going to get in.”
Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) told Fox News the cancelations are politically motivated.
“It seems childish – take my ball and go home,” he said.
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) called the White House a cherished monument that is part of the national identity.
“I do not understand why the president would choose to punish school children, tour groups, and other visitors to the nation’s capital instead of finding areas of excess and waste in the White House budget,” he said.