House committee jabs at president over White House tours

Updated
Screenshot from House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa's new ad attacking the president for ending White House tours.
Screenshot from House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa's new ad attacking the president for ending White House tours.

Congressman Darrell Issa, GOP chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is taking the attack on President Obama over the cancellation of White House tours to a new level.

The committee released a web video Wednesday that implies the president is busy having fun–it shows him playing basketball and hanging out with first dog Bo–rather than attending to the nation’s budget issues.

The video is available on the committee’s official YouTube channel.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=82h5CI0qYmg]

Republicans including Speaker John Boehner have slammed the White House for ending the tours, arguing the decision was intended to make Republicans look bad for refusing to a deal to avert the cuts. Issa had not joined the chorus until releasing the ad.

The video criticizes the White House for lacking the “leadership” to implement the changes suggested by the committee’s inspector generals that claim $67 billion could be saved by various government agencies.

The report says the the Department of Homeland Security (which, via the Secret Service, made the decision to suspend the tours) as having the second highest number of “unimplemented recommendations.” The DHS has made cuts with a 2013 budget request that saves more than half a million dollars compared to its 2012 budget.

The impact of the sequester, of course, extends far beyond White House tours. Children are losing access to Head Start across the country, branches of the military have been forced to end tuition assistance, and air traffic control towers are set to shutter in a number of cities.

UPDATE: Those cuts are already having a significant impact in Issa’s home district too. In San Diego, the Gary and Mary West Wellness Center tell KUSI they’ll provide 32,000 fewer meals a year to seniors thanks to those cuts, and three San Diego companies who work with the Defense Department have laid off nearly 2,000 workers because of sequester funding cuts.

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House committee jabs at president over White House tours

Updated