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White House to Allow Tours Again

3:03 PM, Oct 18, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
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The White House will re-open for tours, according to the Huffington Post. But instead of tours 5 days a week, they will only be offered 3 days a week.

White House tours will resume in early November, a White House official confirmed Friday to The Huffington Post.

The tours, which were canceled in March as a result of sequestration, will begin again on Nov. 5 on a reduced schedule. Instead of five days a week, the tours will run for three days a week.

The tours were cancelled for sequestration, which is still in effect. The Secret Service tells the Huffington Post it was able to manage its money better so that the doors to the White House could re-open to the public:

The Secret Service was behind the nixed tours. To cope with budget cuts, they opted to reassign officers normally in charge of the tours to other security posts around the White House.

Robert Novy, a spokesman for the Secret Service, explained how they managed to come up with the funds to resume the tours.

"Sequestration came midway through the fiscal year and we were unable to reallocate remaining funds while ensuring funds remained for operations and avoided furloughing employees," Novy said. "In light of the new fiscal year, the Secret Service is confident that through the new [funding bill] we can operate at reduced funding levels while still meeting our operational requirements."

Still, one Secret Service official -- who requested anonymity in order to speak candidly -- emphasized to HuffPost that the tours are reduced and only guaranteed through Jan. 15, when the current government-funding bill runs out. If Congress doesn't pass another bill by then, the Secret Service will need to reassess whether it has the resources to continue the tours while still carrying out its "mission critical operations."

UPDATE: Here's the official White House press release: 

WHITE HOUSE ANNOUNCES PUBLIC TOURS

WASHINGTON, DC – The White House is pleased to announce the resumption of a limited schedule of East Wing and Executive Residence tours, beginning on November 5th. Additionally, the White House will be opening its gardens and grounds to visitors on October 26th and 27th.

Members of the public interested in scheduling a tour of the East Wing and Executive Residence should contact their Member of Congress.

For a tour of the gardens and grounds on Saturday, October 26th from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM, and Sunday, October 27th from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, members of the public can obtain a free, timed ticket at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion located at 15th and E Streets on Saturday andSunday beginning at 7:30 AM.  Tickets will be distributed -- one ticket per person (including small children) -- on a first-come, first-served basis.

During this event, visitors can see the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, Rose Garden and South Lawn of the White House.  Additionally, the White House Kitchen Garden – the first vegetable garden at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt’s Victory Garden – will be accessible to guests.

For more information about tours of the White House, please visithttp://www.whitehouse.gov/about/tours-and-events

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