The Washington Times - March 11, 2013, 07:49AM

Will The Donald pony up to keep White House tours running?



Mr. Trump on Monday blasted the recent White House decision to halt tours in light of across-the-board spending cuts that took effect March 1. Some members of Congress have also hopped on the bandwagon, pledging that the U.S. Capitol will not follow suit.

“It sounds reasonable to me. Why not?” Mr. Trump said on “Fox and Friends” after being told of a tweet from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich suggesting the billionaire offer to pay for the tours. “It’s always been that simple, and it’s always been open, and it’s certainly not a lot of money…we have $17 trillion in debt. Closing the White House tours is not exactly the biggest thing on the agenda.”

White House spokesman Jay Carney recently said President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama have “made extraordinary efforts to make [the White House] the people’s house” during their time here “and it is extremely unfortunate that we have a situation like the sequester that compels the kinds of trade-offs and decisions this represents.”

Mr. Carney said that the Secret Service, “like other agencies of government, is affected by the sequester, and the Secret Service presented options that ranged from canceling tours to potential furloughs and cuts in overtime.”