White House warns Easter Egg Roll could be canceled
March 19th, 2013
01:40 PM ET
10 years ago

White House warns Easter Egg Roll could be canceled

Washington (CNN) – Ticket holders for the upcoming White House Easter Egg Roll are being warned the annual event could be canceled if lawmakers can't agree on a measure funding the federal government.

As for now, the event will go on as planned – though warnings have gone out to members of Congress and ticketholders that a partial government shutdown would cause the egg roll to be scrapped.

In a memo to lawmakers, who receive tickets to the egg roll, the White House notes that "by using these tickets, guests are acknowledging that this event is subject to cancellation due to funding uncertainty surrounding the Executive Office of the President and other federal agencies."

The memo adds that if the event is canceled, it would not be rescheduled.

On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the egg roll was still on.

"Because we distributed tickets to the Easter Egg Roll far in advance of the actual event, we alerted all ticketholders that this event is subject to cancellation due to funding uncertainty, including the possibility of a government shutdown," Carney said.

"We have every expectation that the Easter Egg Roll will proceed as planned," he added later.

A partial government shutdown would occur if Congress fails to extend funding authorization by the March 27 deadline, something leaders from both parties have said they'd like to avoid.

A person familiar with the ticket confirmations said every attendee received the same cancellation warning on their ticket confirmation, including both members of Congress and those who won tickets through the lottery.

The Easter Egg Roll – an annual event featuring games, music and the egg roll - is celebrating its 135th anniversary this year. It's slated to take place April 1.

The White House announced earlier this month it was suspending public tours through September 30 as a consequence of the forced spending cuts-known as the "sequester."

The move quickly sparked controversy, with some Republicans arguing the Obama administration was using the canceled tours as a political ploy to draw up negative reaction from the American public over the cuts.

The U.S. Secret Service told CNN that the plan will help the agency save $74,000 per week – or $2 million over the next seven months, which is the scheduled length of the ongoing forced budget cuts. That total covers the cost of paying 37 uniformed officers $50 an hour for 40 hours a week to secure the tour's route through the East Wing.

But that's just a fraction of the $84 million the Secret Service needs to cut from its $1.6 billion budget, according to the Office of Management and Budget. The officers normally assigned to the tours will be reassigned to other duties at the White House.

Filed under: Budget • White House
soundoff (192 Responses)
  1. richelleleanne1

    Tried for years to get tickets through the lottery to no avail, yet you can find listing after listing on Craigslist for people that never intended to go selling theirs for $200-$400+. It's a shame that most of the people that get to go to the "free" egg roll are the wealthy or members of Congress. I couldn't care less if they cancel it.

    March 19, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Ancient Texan wrote:

    RudyNYC- But it is still Obama's plan and itx is costing him in approval ratings. The "committee" that would head off automatic cuts was a bipartisan, gutless joke.
    You have no answer, either, as to where else the Secret Service should make its' cuts. Sorry, telling the POTUS that he may not take time off or a vacation doesn't count. The cuts must be discretionary in nature. As for the "super committee" goes, it was a bipartisan fiasco, but you can blame Pres. Obama anyway.

    The House originates all bills that raise/spend revenue. They can use an agreed upon Senate rule to allow the Senate to originate revenue related bills, by sending it to the House, and then the Senate votes on it without amendments. So, it is generally not a good idea for the Senate to originate revenue related bills at times, especially now, because it denies them ability to amend after the House passes the bill. It is preferable to use the normal budget route where the legislation originates in the House, which is how the Sequester Bill came into being. This gives the Senate opportunity to amend the bill, sent it back to the House, and back and forth until it passes both chambers or one votes it down, which kills it.

    March 19, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  3. tim

    No Easter egg no white house tour but we send 250 million to muslim brotherhood,this pres is trying hard to punish the kids of America,and everyone He should be impeached.

    March 19, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  4. DC Johnny

    Keep inflicting pain intentionally on the average American, Obama. They finally see through your ruse to make life miserable while blaming the GOP for it, and it's evident in your declining poll numbers.

    Keep up the good work.

    March 19, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  5. Patrick

    ok.... so he cancels the tours, and the egg roll, and teachers pay, and military pay. he does this because he is hoping to get those people to vote the republicans out of office in 2014. That way he will have a House that will do what he says. So he is spending millions of tax paying dollars to tour around the states to campaign for his party that alone should be enough to impeach him. Why is he canceling an egg roll for the kids when he is spending more money than that to try to get his friends in congress? Maybe the same reason he wants america to have a public pre-school. Open your eyes his admin wants to brainwash kids at a younger age to do what they want. That my frineds in tyranny. Only the people can rise and end this. Every vote counts.

    March 19, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama


    Why on heaven's green earth would they pay a guard $50 an hour just to watch tourist walk through.
    Okay, I've got a few minutes...
    Let's say you're serious about that statement, and let's just say that said tourist somehow gets his hand on a weapon and goes after the POTUS or FLOTUS who have been known to show up, or be in residence, along with their children during these tours, by the way....all of a sudden for that Secret Service officer sworn to protect the life of the President of our country $50 just doesn't cut it, but that's all he'll get...if he survives.

    March 19, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  7. rr

    It better be canceled. I know school children who were scheduled to go to the White House during their Spring Break and was denied because the White House closed it's door to tourist. If the White House closes its doors to thousands visting during Spring Break, and they keep the Easter Egg Roll open to a few children of wealthy parents, it will be a total disgrace.

    March 19, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  8. rr

    I heard that the White House tour is self guided. I guess it costs a lot of money for guards to watch self guiding tourist.
    The "W" in Washinton D.C. stands for WASTE.

    March 19, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  9. goblackhawks

    As long as Obama can still Golf .. don't want to cut the budget for that .. Or to go to Hawaii, Martha's Vineyard , Aspen , etc ... the President who cares about the Middle Class ... What a joke

    March 19, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  10. ABarker

    Will S

    Personally, I blame the House of Representatives:
    Article 1, Section 7, 1: All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.
    Article 1, Section 8, 1: The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

    Personally, I blame o and crew for spending for all we're worth... They don't need more income, they need to learn to live within their means, just like you and I.

    March 19, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  11. Elect a new bunch of politicians

    It's all a sham anyhow. The article clearly states that the officers will be reassigned to other duties. In otherwords they are still on the payroll, so no real cost savings at all anyhow. Unless they are getting rid of people it is only a show. I think every member of Congress and the President should be ashamed at their behavior the last four years.

    March 19, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  12. Jabbadahut

    Ok, lets do the math....wait for it, the 37 agents assigned to tours security is costing $50. an hour, 40hrs a week, tours are cancelled, the agents are reassigned to other duties at the W.H.....what money was saved? Anyone?

    March 19, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  13. Getoverit

    “I will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts.”

    -Barack H. Obama Nov 21, 2011

    March 19, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  14. penguin

    The easter egg hunt should be paid for by private donations. Indeed the President makes enough that he could bankroll the cost out of his own pocket. (The money he saved by only eliminating the Bush tax cuts for the very, very wealthy would probably cover most of the cost)

    March 19, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  15. Woman In California

    This is what "less government" looks like. Enjoy it.

    March 19, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  16. Steve

    after the Easter party the GOP will be saying" Look at Obama partying with our tax dollars". If Obama cancels the party they will say he's punishing the children. You can't have it both ways GOP, do you want cuts or don't you?

    March 19, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  17. me

    just mmore poliical gandstanding from the left. after this one obama's numbers will really be in the tank

    March 19, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  18. pjoe

    They can all come over to my house. It will be fun. Bring your own eggs.

    March 19, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  19. cbp

    Those advising the President are doing a poor job. The egg roll is a long tradition held at the people's house. They need to remember who really owns the White House. People expect to be able to visit the White House and to join in on festivities, tours, etc.

    Let's get real here and cancel the "pork programs: which were added to many bills.

    March 19, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    "“I will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts.”

    -Barack H. Obama Nov 21, 2011"

    Wow, that's waaaay out-of-context. He was speaking about if a situation occured in which Congresscritters tried to just get rid of the sequester they had just enacted instead of following through with the plan to negotiate an agreement to replace the sequester. Sequester was intended as incentive/motivation for Congress to reach agreement...and Conrgess all agreed to it. It would have completely undermined that incentive/motivation if Obama had agreed to just get rid of it if no agreement was reached. He was absolutely NOT saying that he was going to force the sequester to happen no matter what, so stop trying to imply it with an out-of-context quote. That's not even close to honest.

    March 19, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    SO they cancel the WH tours to save the $74,000 per week that it would cost the Secret Service to provide guards along the tour route, but they simply re-assigned the guards to other WH duties? How is this saving anything if the guards are simply performing other duties? They get paid for those "other duties" I assume.

    March 19, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  22. Jorge Sedano

    cancel it already.. Government has no idea how to manage government..

    March 19, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  23. lottie

    I guess you would rather cut social programs?

    March 19, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  24. ghostriter

    What does congress care? Don't they have a 2 week vacation for easter break?

    How many of you regular Joe's out here have two weeks PAID for easter?

    March 19, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  25. Heartman

    Good, the government has no place paying for a religious event.

    March 19, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
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