(NBC News) -- The White House is canceling tours of the president's famous abode starting next week, saying the budget cuts that went into effect last week are to blame.
A phone recording on the call line for White House visitors informs callers that White House tours will be canceled, starting this weekend.
"Due to staffing reductions resulting from sequestration, we regret to inform you that White House tours will be canceled effective Saturday March 9th, 2013 until further notice," the recording says. "Unfortunately, we will not be able to reschedule affected tours. We very much regret having to take this action particularly during the popular spring touring season."
The move, which Republicans paint as a publicity stunt, prompted at least one proposed legislative fix from a GOP congressman Tuesday.
In an amendment to a GOP stopgap budget bill headed to the floor later this week, Rep. Louis Gohmert, R-Texas, suggested that no funds from the bill be used "to transport the President to or from a golf course until public tours of the White House resume."
House Administration Committee Chair Candice Miller, R-Mich., said in a statement that the canceled tours are "wrong" and invited tourists to Washington D.C. to tour the Capitol instead.
"I believe closing the doors of the White House to the American people is wrong," she wrote. "I want to let those Americans planning a trip to Washington, D.C. know that the Capitol will remain open and encourage those wishing to visit to contact their member of Congress or the Capitol Visitors Center to schedule a tour."
As required by law, President Barack Obama ordered the automatic cuts into effect last Friday night. The broad budget reductions came after Congress and the administration failed to reach an agreement to avert the sequester.
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