The White House remains closed to public tours, which the administration claims was due to budget cuts.
But that has opened the administration up for much criticism about the president's golf outings and other travel.
It has become a question of choice.
“We regret to inform you that White House tours will be canceled,” says the recording.
The challenges revolve around where to cut? And sometimes who to blame?
“This was not a decision that went up to the White House but what the Secret Service
explained to us is that they’re going to have to furlough some folks,” President Obama explained to George Stephanopolus.
“It’s fundamentally not true,” former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino replied. “The Secret Service doesn’t make political decisions.”
Former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino said he and his colleagues were appalled by the decision.
“I remember sitting posted at the White House, watching kids come through with their parents who know a little bit about the history, pointing out the wall sconces, the paintings and you see the smiles on their faces,” Bongino explained. “Now they’re shut out.”
According to a Secret Service spokesman, 37 officers must be on duty during those tours.
Even though the White House is only open about 20 hours a week for tours, those officers are on the clock for 40 hours. Cutting the service should save 74 thousand dollars a week.
So why couldn’t cuts come from elsewhere? It’s a question put to White House spokesman Jay Carney.
How much is it going to cost for the president to travel later this week to Illinois?
“Well, the president is the President of the United States, and he is elected to represent all of the people,“ explained White House spokesman Jay Carney. “But the president has to travel around the country. He has to travel around the world. That is part of his job.”
The president’s travel and leisure habits now under fire.
The website Obamagolfcounter.com has his rounds of golf at 115.
Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert recently introduced an amendment to the spending bill that would have prevented public money from being used to transport the president to or from the golf course until White House tours are reinstated.
“Let him play golf all he wants, but don’t cancel the tours for people who make their one trip to the capitol and that have paid taxes and just want to see the White House,” Rep. Gohmert stated.
While his amendment failed, the debate carries on about tough choices and who they impact most.