Democrat Senators Vote to Keep White House Tours Closed: Elvis Cruises, Ukranian Easter Egg Workshops and Wine Trains Remain Open

Several Republicans offered-up amendments to keep White House tours running, along with several national parks that have been closed, due to discretionary decisions made as the sequester went into effect. The Senate has a two-week vacation coming up. March 25th through April 5th is a scheduled “Constituent Work Week.”


Senators voted Wednesday to keep the White House closed to public tours, turning back a GOP-led effort to free up money to open the building back up after the sequesters.

The vote was just one of a series of high-profile votes the Senate was taking Wednesday afternoon as it plowed toward passage of a bill to fund the government through the rest of this fiscal year.

President Obama canceled the tours earlier this month as one of the casualties of the budget sequesters, setting off a chorus of complaints from Congress and the public.

Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican, offered an amendment to free up $8 million money to keep both the White House and several national parks open on their regular schedules. He proposed reclaiming money from national heritage areas elsewhere in the National Park Service budget.

But Democrats objected, saying it was a show vote that was note going to accomplish what Mr. Coburn said it would. They also said canceling park service heritage money would hurt their home states.

They defeated Mr. Coburn’s amendment on a 54-45 vote, with nearly every Republican voting to reopen the White House and with almost all Democrats voting to back Mr. Obama’s decision.

After days of stalemate, senators agreed to hold votes on the White House tours, on cutting off funding for political science research and on keeping meat plant inspections up and running in spite of the budget sequesters.

Congress is trying to pass the end-of-year funding before it leaves town for a two-week vacation. The House already passed its version of the bill, but senators had bogged down in fighting over what amendments they would even be allowed to vote on.

“We’re focused on all the wrong things because it’s all about the next election,” Mr. Coburn said. Source: Washington Times

So what is “heritage money used for?” Wine Trains, Elvis Cruises and Ukrainian Easter Egg Workshops, of course.

Coburn’s amendment 93 would have restored funding for public tours to the White House and other national parks by shifting money from a Heritage Area account that the administration had even targeted for spending reductions.

Coburn’s amendment would have cut $8 million from the Heritage Areas fund, which he says pays for wine trains, Elvis cruises and Ukrainian Easter Egg workshops. His amendment would then provide $5 million of that $8 million cut to restart tours of the White House and make improvements to national parks, including the Flight 93 National Memorial visitors’ center. Source: The Hill

Steam coming out my ears! We continue to fund the Obama family in The People’s House, and their friends. Can’t help but believe they don’t want The People who own the House to tromp through it anyway. Win-Win for them. Why are we funding wine trains, Easter Egg workshops and Elvis Cruises and in what states? The wine trains – that easy. Elvis cruises? Carnival has one. They’re owned by Americans and Brits and headquartered in Florida. Memphis and New Orleans have a steamboat Elvis cruise. Dallas has a Ukrainian Easter Egg Workshop, as does Mt. Airy – maybe in North Carolina. We cannot shame these people. That’s why nothing will change.

Linked at Grumpy Opinions – thank you! Did you know the EPA is now forced to follow it’s own Clean Water Act? Here’s how it happened.

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  • Jack Leonard

    If almost all democrats voted against it then why don’t you identify who didn’t vote against it?
    If almost all republicans voted for it then why don’t you identify who didn’t vote for it?

    • Jack Leonard, because I couldn’t find the roll call vote at the time. It hadn’t been posted before I had to wrap-it up for the day. Here’s a suggestion: why don’t you find it for me and leave and link and i’ll add it, as I generally do. It might have nicer for you to just to ask if I would take the time to identify who did what.