Sequester cuts to be felt in White House

March 9, 2013 at 5:35 PM

WASHINGTON, March 9 (UPI) -- The White House in Washington was closed to the public Saturday as the Obama administration began implementing federal spending cuts known as sequestration.

The administration said this week public tours would be suspended indefinitely beginning Saturday, and officials said the effects of sequestration will be felt in the West Wing, where the presidential staff works, Politico reported.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Friday there will be pay cuts and furloughs, although the details were still being worked out.

"We're also a pretty personnel-heavy agency, if you will," Earnest said. "So that means that there will be employees ... who work here at the White House that will be facing pay cuts, that will be facing furloughs and again, this is the result of a policy that Democrats and Republicans agree is really bad."

Parag Manihar of Irving, Texas, told The Washington Post he was at a loss to explain to his 6-year-old son why the family would not be able to visit the White House during their first trip to Washington.

"At their age, they do not understand the sequester," Manihar said.

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