This morning, as Americans continued to deal with having their long-planned White House tours canceled, Speaker Boehner kicked off his weekly press briefing by assuring taxpayers and tourists that the Capitol remains open for public tours:
“I’d like to start this morning by letting the American people know that the United States Capitol is open to visitors, we’d love to have the American people come and visit their Capitol. You know, even though our budget’s been cut like everyone else’s, thanks to proper planning, we’re able to avoid furloughs amongst Capitol workers and tours are going to remain available for all Americans. I think it’s disappointing that the Obama administration didn’t follow our lead and find savings in other parts of their budget. I think it’s silly that they’ve insisted on locking down the White House, which the American people actually own.”
This follows up on Boehner’s efforts yesterday to encourage Americans shut out of the White House to visit the Capitol instead:
- In the morning, Boehner released a letter he sent to his Ohio constituents notifying them that the Capitol would remain open thanks to foresight and careful planning on the part of House officials. “If your public tour of the White House has been canceled, House Speaker John Boehner says come visit the Capitol instead,” the Associated Press reported. “Boehner said alternative spending cuts have been put in place at the Capitol to keep the public tours and other regular activities on schedule.”
- Early in the afternoon, on his way to the House floor – where lawmakers passed a measure keeping the government open with a big, bipartisan vote – Boehner stopped to chat with ABC News’ Jonathan Karl, telling him: “We’re open, and Americans are welcome.” (Check out the full piece from ABC World News.)
- Before heading back to his office, Boehner greeted tourists from Port St. Lucie, Florida, the Spring Training home of the New York Mets.
- Finally, during an interview with CNBC’s Larry Kudlow, Boehner addressed the tours issue, saying: “The idea that we're going shut down tours at the White House during the Easter season, when Washington's overrun with visitors, it’s just silly. All I can say is the Capitol is open to visitors. We welcome the American people to come to their Capitol.”
In the course of that interview, Boehner released a statement signed by 180 economists who agree excessive government spending is hurting the economy – a reminder that just as tours of the Capitol continue, so does the work that goes on throughout its halls to help Americans get back to work and put our economy on a path to prosperity.