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Tulsa 5th Graders Miss Out On White House Tour Due To Sequester Cuts

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It's not easy to get into the White House for a tour during spring break, but 30 students from Tulsa got a ticket. It's not easy to get into the White House for a tour during spring break, but 30 students from Tulsa got a ticket.
The White House said the Secret Service said it would be impossible to staff the tours, due to sequester cuts, which forced the White House to cancel the tours altogether. The White House said the Secret Service said it would be impossible to staff the tours, due to sequester cuts, which forced the White House to cancel the tours altogether.
"We did everything we were supposed to do and this is nothing we have control over, and I wanted them to know what happens in Washington, DC can affect you," Andy Foyil said. "We did everything we were supposed to do and this is nothing we have control over, and I wanted them to know what happens in Washington, DC can affect you," Andy Foyil said.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Some Tulsa elementary students learned a lesson about gridlock when their White House tour, set for next week, was canceled because of federal budget cuts.

It's not easy to get into the White House for a tour during spring break, but 30 students from Tulsa got a ticket.

After all the paperwork and background checks, the White House shut down the tours. It's the people's house, but for now it's off limits to outsiders, because of budget conflicts in Washington.

A group of fifth graders at Eliot Elementary was supposed to be there next week.

"Now that we're not so long at the White House - we'll just take pictures through the fence - we'll have longer at the zoo," said teacher Andy Foyil.

Though everyone has a long list of places to see, everyone wanted to see the White House.

"I kind of wanted to see President Obama," said fifth grader Michael Deselms.

The White House Press Corps, political pundits, and Congressional leaders have all questioned the decision to stop the tours.

The White House said the Secret Service said it would be impossible to staff the tours, due to sequester cuts, which forced the White House to cancel the tours altogether, CBS News reported Wednesday.

3/13/2013 Related CBS News Story: White House tours may resume for students, Obama says

Teachers Andy Foyil and Linda Hendrick have been to Washington and the White House lots of times. This trip will be Mr Foyil's 25th to the nation's capital, after teaching fifth graders about government.

"We did everything we were supposed to do and this is nothing we have control over, and I wanted them to know what happens in Washington, DC can affect you," Foyil said.

This year, the students will still see a lot of sights and get a lesson Mr. Foyil hopes they don't forget.

"I want you to remember, when you're grown up, ‘Because Congress couldn't make a decision, I didn't go to the White House.' And I want them to remember that," Foyil said.

The group's visit to the National Archives was almost scuttled because of a cut back in the hours, but they were able to reschedule that.

CBS News reported Wednesday that President Obama has pressed the Secret Service to see whether they can't find a way to accommodate school groups, who have traveled to the capitol. Even if they do decide to reverse the decision, there's no indication that will happen before the Eliot Elementary kids are supposed to get their tour.

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