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. SixDegrees

    You would think a one-percenter like Obama would reach into his own pocket and finance the event so all those kids wouldn't be disappointed.

    Instead of, you know, splattering the threat of cancellation all over its press releases as a cheap political ploy.

    March 19, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  2. thisistrue

    Obama can allow 250 million to go to Syria and Egypt that both hate us but Obama cannot find enough to leave the White House tours open! This America is what you get when you vote Democratic!

    March 19, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  3. MesaMax

    Obama continues to punish the public. And America's suffering continues...........

    March 19, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    The Prez is going to sequester the Easter Bunny! We can call it the SEQEASTER: the year the Easter Bunny didn't come!

    March 19, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  5. Sman

    So we'll fire the 37 secret service personnel, right? If we just reassign them, there won't be any savings. Same is true for all of these other shutdowns. National Park service won't plow roads to save money. So we'll fire the NPS personnel, too? None of these "closings" is saving a dime. They're just trying to tighten the screws on the taxpayers.

    March 19, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  6. politically indy

    Oh give me a break. More Obama grandstanding and scare tactics. This event is funded by private donations and is, in fact, a money maker.

    March 19, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  7. Mallarde

    This is hilarious! I wonder if Michelle's travel budget will be affected! (Not.)

    March 19, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  8. AngelaW

    White House closed, Easter cancelled, yet Queen Michelle's million dollar birthday party is a go. It's good to be queen.

    March 19, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  9. freedom

    Not surprised. We already know the Muslim Brotherhood doesn't celebrate Easter.

    March 19, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  10. dochollidayisback

    $250M to the Muslim Brotherhood, but an event that is funded privately can't be held?

    March 19, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  11. nilla

    I can imagine that if something else were cut in place of this, we'd hear, "Obama continues to spend wastefully on things like the Easter Egg Roll..."

    March 19, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  12. Smedge

    Who cares? Why are we using tax dollars for crap like this anyway?

    March 19, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  13. Sarah Levine

    Oh, my! The world is coming to an end w/o the White House Easter Egg Roll! This is a perfect example of what is wrong with this country and it's very apparent the folks in Washington, D.C. have no concept of $$$. Many of the current crop of Pols have no clue on how to plan a budget. Tax, tax, tax & tax and spend like a drunken sailor. What a pitiful bunch!

    March 19, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  14. RBR

    Big woop. Maybe if the government cancelled a few more of these meaningless, "feel good", activities and spent time and our money doing the job we elected it to do the country wouldn't be in such a bad financial state. When did all of these non- essential activities become an important part of government?

    March 19, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  15. John

    Somebody should tell the President he is looking like a fool. Maybe he could have cut his game with Tiger Woods short to pay for the Easter Egg Roll. Seriously a multi trillion dollar budget and they cant find the money for the Easter Egg roll. Yes i am a democrat and I voted for Obama.

    March 19, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  16. freedom

    Guess what, Obama??? Easter will go on without you and your family !! It's MUCH bigger than you.

    March 19, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  17. Namerene

    Maybe he should take a round of golf off

    March 19, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  18. bossdog

    Sequester was proposed by the President.

    March 19, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  19. karen

    Maybe would should have cancelled Pelosi and Bidens trip to the Vatican. I am sure it was on our dime.

    March 19, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  20. Joe

    Equivalent to:
    "Kids, me and your mom are $200,000 in debt, so we're gonna keep doing our thing, but you can't celebrate Easter this year. ITS FOR THE GOOD OF THE FAMILY.

    March 19, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  21. wade

    Of course Obama has t pay for all those jets he gave to Egypt.

    March 19, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  22. Joy

    Hahaha, ANYBODY else surprised, that Obama is gonna cancel – Easter at the WH Hahaha

    March 19, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  23. JB

    I'm sure if he cancels just one golf trip the savings will more than pay for the children's Easter egg hunt . . .

    March 19, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  24. Belegurth

    Good work as usual CNN. I was having trouble sleeping at night wondering what was going on with the Easter egg hunt this year. Please be sure to stay right on top of this breaking news story and keep us all updated on any important new developments.

    March 19, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  25. russ

    Why was this event EVER paid for with tax payer dollars? An event like this should be paid for by the people attending and/or contributions from the egg producer lobbies. Thank you Obama for continuing to point out the wasteful spending that the sequester is remedying.

    March 19, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
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