Topics: Michelle Obama

President, first lady surprise visitors as White House tours resume

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Politics,White House,Barack Obama,President,Secret Service,Michelle Obama,PennAve,Budgets and Deficits,Twitter,Meghashyam Mali,Sequester

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday surprised visitors as tours to the White House resumed.

The first lady announced their plans on Twitter and a live feed allowed viewers to watch the two as they welcomed the public back to the White House.

“We just re-opened tours at the White House & I'm about to greet folks right now. Tune in…this is going to be fun! -mo,” tweeted Mrs. Obama from the @FLOTUS feed.

The White House tours were suspended in March after the Secret Service was forced to reduce their staff hours after across-the-board sequester cuts took effect.

The White House announced last month that they would resume the tours on a limited schedule for the public after lawmakers passed a continuing resolution for the federal government. The gardens and grounds of the White House were also opened to visitors for two days in late October.

The decision in March to cancel tours sparked controversy, with Republican lawmakers accusing the administration of playing politics and trying to inconvenience the public to hurt the GOP in the debate over budget cuts.

The White House denied those charges and said the decision had been made by the Secret Service.

Polls showed that a majority of the public believed the tours should be resumed.

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