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. Sniffit

    "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."

    Clearly, you're entirely uninformed and have no clue what the word "furlough" means.

    March 19, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  2. Ed

    What a disappointment Obama has been. First the WH tours, and now this? He probably wants to go out and play some golf or maybe some basketball. DISGRACEFUL

    March 19, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  3. plain&simple

    Austerity is just that. Austerity!!! You can't have it both ways. This is called being grown up!!! Maybe if congress would grow a pair and lay out a plan on cuts that workers haven't paid into for the past half century ,they might gain the ear of the American people!

    March 19, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    Admit it Teatrolls....when you read the headline, you thought this article was about what chinese christians eat on easter.

    March 19, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  5. george

    The secret service is reassigned. Where is the cost saving? More government accounting. Democratic bull

    March 19, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  6. pjoe

    Inflation is bad ... but I didn't know eggs were that expensive. Just roll the fat kids around if you can't afford eggs.

    March 19, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    What a joke this administration is, with a tiny percentage cut – make the taxpayers miserable...meanwhile Obama and family continue living the high life at our expense. Maybe the taxpayers need to remind them whose money it is and who they work for.

    March 19, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  8. Sniffit

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

    You do realize that all you're doing is letting everyone know what the radicalized extremists on right wing websites are babbling and telling people to repeat elsewhere, don't you? Nobody thinks you made a valid point unless they are already regurgitating that kind of nonsense talking point themselves. Here's a tip: stay in the teatroll echo chamber...you'll be far happier if nobody is pointing out how very insane you sound.

    March 19, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  9. freedom

    Why did you vote for this man?

    March 19, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  10. GOP = Greed Over People

    Who gives a cottontail?

    March 19, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  11. Brian

    Can't you folks read? This isn't about the sequester – it's about the SHUTDOWN. If there is no budger or continuing resolution passed by March 27, there will be a widespread, if still partial, shutdown of the federal government. That's why the event would be cancelled – even for Easter, you can't force WH staff to work without paying them.

    The noise over the budget has gotten so loud that nobody is even paying attention to the details any more.

    March 19, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  12. unknown11

    My understanding is that no secret service lost a job. There was zero in savings. It is total B.S.

    March 19, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  13. Mikey

    Wow! Some headlines really bring out the nuts. Fire away with the silly comments. We'd hate to have you disappoint us.

    March 19, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  14. Luke,AZ

    Thank the Republican party, specifically the so called tea party faction for obstructing and distracting.

    March 19, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  15. critical thinking

    Kids, you can’t have your precious Easter Egg Roll (which was often an event for children whose parents were currently serving abroad in the armed forces), and you certainly cannot have your educational White House tours that you’ve raised money and traveled across the country for, but Michelle Obama turns fifty this year, and her birthday party has been in the works for some time, and they’ve already totally put deposits down on stuff, and she’s waited forever for this and she’s not giving it up, so nyah.

    Plus, they already booked Adele. And you know how hard it is to book Adele. You can’t just unbook her.

    March 19, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  16. California Conservative

    Of course it could be because we have to give money to foreign countries so they'll be our friends.

    March 19, 2013 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  17. rs

    I love the GOPpers here raking the White House over the tour cuts and the possible (horrors!) cancellation of the Easter Egg hunt.

    Hello? are you delusional? You wanted budgets cut 2-5% acrcoss the board- that is how you wrote the Sequester,and this is what you get. Government action requires tax dollars- I know you guys don't get that direct (but apparently subtle) relationship. You cut taxes, you cut government function.
    Get real and get used to the results of your actions.

    March 19, 2013 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  18. WEASEL 2

    Does this make the President look : (pick as many as your children select)
    1. silly
    2. stupid
    3. arrogant
    4. incompetent
    5. a grinch
    6. a lightweight politician in a job beyond his abilities
    7..a true friend of the american people, trying to reduce fraud and waste in government

    This poll is as scientific as most of the others that you see, tempered in great measure by the preformed opinions of the people paying for the poll results.


    March 19, 2013 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  19. jowl

    they better cancel those Passover and El Eid al-Fitr events as well if they are going to be picking and choosing which events

    March 19, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  20. NotYoDaddy

    Get pistoff.
    That's exactly what they want.

    March 19, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  21. Rick McDaniel

    That would make the President look worse, than petty!

    March 19, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  22. roger

    It's a sad day when the current administration in Washington would rather penalize children to prove a point than to take care of business and try to solve our real problems. It's gotten to a point where I find it hard to have any respect for anyone in politics.

    March 19, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  23. Lagos

    I'm normally EXTREMELY skeptical about "X politician is intentionally and consciously doing something to hurt America!" claims, but there's just too many situations where high-profile programs that directly affect the program are being scrapped or downsized and less crucial, more expensive programs that don't are either untouched or getting even more money. At least this one is just public relations, not something that actually affects people in a serious way.

    March 19, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  24. rs

    The remarkable thing about the Republican babble about cancelling this and spending that is they have not one clue about how their Sequester works. Delusion and ignorance in action!

    March 19, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  25. Hypocricy at its best

    I can see it now. Obama stands at the pdium and reads from his tele prompter

    "My fellow Americans. Due to the sequestration we will have to cancel easter at the White House; however, on a good note Adele and Beyonce will still be attending my wife's 50th birthday party" "No questions please"

    March 19, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
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