No Smart Way? Safari Edition
No Smart Way?
A few months ago, the administration insisted there was “no smart way” to avoid the sequester. Soon after, the White House cancelled tours indefinitely, blaming their “staffing reductions” on the spending cuts. However, The Washington Post recently discovered documents detailing the administration’s plans to go on a safari with a counterassault team during their upcoming trip to Africa. Let’s get this straight: the administration can’t find room in the budget for constituents to tour the White House, yet it seriously considered an expensive African safari? When will they get it?
President Obama: “No Smart Way” To Cut $85 Billion: “The problem is, when you’re cutting $85 billion in seven months … there’s no smart way to do that. There’s no smart way to do that.” (“Obama on Sequester Cuts: ‘There’s No Smart Way To Do That,’” Real Clear Politics, 2/26/13)
SHOT: White House Scheduled Safari For Upcoming Trip To Africa. “The president and first lady had also planned to take a Tanzanian safari as part of the trip, which would have required the president’s special counterassault team to carry sniper rifles with high-caliber rounds that could neutralize cheetahs, lions or other animals if they became a threat, according to the planning document. But officials said Thursday that the safari had been canceled in favor of a trip to Robben Island off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa, where Nelson Mandela was held as a political prisoner. When The Post first asked White House officials about the safari last week, they said no final decision had been made.” (Carol D. Leonnig and David Nakamura, “Document: Major Resources Needed For Obama Africa Trip,” The Washington Post, 6/13/13)
CHASER: White House Tours Cancelled “Until Further Notice” Due To Sequester. “The White House is cancelling all public tours of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue as a result of the sequester spending cuts, a senior administration official confirms. ‘Due to staffing reductions resulting from sequestration, we regret to inform you that WhiteHouse Tours will be canceled effective Saturday, March 9, 2013 until further notice,’ according to a cancellation notice that was sent to congressional offices.” (Mary Bruce, “White House Tours Cancelled Due To Sequester Cuts,” ABC News, 3/5/13)
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