The looming sequester crisis will not stop the Easter Bunny from visiting the White House for the 135th straight year.
The annual White House Easter Egg Roll, hosted by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, will go on as planned on April 1 this year after a memo sent out by the White House last week indicated it could potentially be cancelled due to spending cuts. White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters on Tuesday that the event is still on.
"I just want to be clear that we are currently planning to proceed with the Easter Egg Roll," he said. "Because we distributed tickets to the Easter Egg Roll far in advance of the actual event, we alerted all ticket holders that this event is subject to cancellation due to funding uncertainty, including the possibility of a government shutdown."
The event on the White House's South Lawn is expected to attract 35,000 people who won tickets via a lottery system. In the White House invitation sent out last week, it 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. If cancelled, the event will not be re-scheduled. We will notify you if there are any modifications to this event.”
"Again, the language that got attention on the Hill and was reported duly by the press was prepared well in advance, and it had to do with the potential for at least the possibility of a government shutdown should there not be a resolution on the continuing resolution,'' Carney said. "It was not about sequester principally.
"So having said that, I want to be clear that because it certainly looks like there is progress being made, and nobody expects a government shutdown, that we have every expectation that the Easter Egg Roll will proceed as planned. I hope that settles the matter."
That led to speculation that the event would be a victim of spending cuts if a resolution is not reached to prevent a federal government shutdown. Carney had previously reassured a crowd last week that the Easter Egg Roll would go off as planned.
The White House seemed certain that the event would survive when it released a promotional video on Monday of the Obamas' dog, Bo, prowling for Easter eggs on the White House lawn.
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