Monday, March 25, 2013
Obama Prioritizes Family Spring Break Over White House Tours
As spring break begins for schoolchildren across the country, thousands of students will travel to Washington, DC. The trips, funded by bake sales and other events throughout the year, will allow the students to take in Washington's historic landmarks. One premier destination is off-limits this year, however.
A few weeks ago, the Obama Administration announced it was suspending public, self-guided tours of the White House as a result of the automatic sequester cuts that the administration proposed in 2011. While America's students stand outside the White House fence, the First Daughters, Sasha and Malia, are enjoying spring break with friends at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas.
Breitbart News' Matt Boyle broke the news Monday morning that numerous sources have reported seeing the First Daughters in the Bahamas this weekend. Presumably, the Obamas are paying the costs of the resort out of their own pockets. The robust Secret Service detail that must accompany the First Daughters, however, is funded by taxpayers.
The principal reason the White House canceled public tours was to save money on Secret Service staff. The White House reported that suspending the tours would save $74,000 a week. Other reports have put the savings at just $18,000 a week.
Whichever the true amount, the Secret Service detail necessary to protect the First Daughters on their spring break could likely have been used to keep the White House open to the rest of America's school children. Judicial Watch reported that Malia Obama's Spring Break in Mexico last year cost taxpayers over $115,000. That amount would cover 2-6 weeks of White House tours.
At the very least, it would ensure that, this spring break, thousands of America's students could cap their trip to DC with a uniquely American tradition--a tour of the White House.