White House tours start back up with a surprise appearance

Posted by Lesley Clark on November 5, 2013 

The White House resumed sequester-scrapped tours today -- and the first visitors got a surprise welcome back, from the First Couple.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were on hand to greet the first folks who streamed in the door, along with First Dogs, Bo and Sunny.

"We're just celebrating, 'Tours are back,' " the first lady told visitors. "We're just excited to have people back in the White House."

The tours -- hugely popular with school groups -- were suspended in March when the sequester kicked in as part of a bipartisan deal struck in 2011 to raise the nation's debt ceiling.

The self-guided tours are resuming on a limited basis of about three days a week, down from five. They'll run through Jan. 15, when the current government-funding bill runs out, the Secret Service has said.

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