Lawmakers and their families will instead be invited to a special holiday party...
Washington, DC - Lawmakers won't have their annual bipartisan schmoozefest on the South Lawn this year with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama: The White House has cancelled the Congressional picnic scheduled for September 18th. (Above, Mrs. Obama reacts as the President soothes a crying baby at the 2011 picnic)
The barbecue that typically features live music and games was axed last week when it seemed like the House, and possibly the Senate, would be consumed by the debate over Syria, a White House official told Politico on Wednesday.
The picnic was originally postponed from June, due to what the White House said was "scheduling conflicts."
To make up for the loss of their summer fling, lawmakers this year will be able to bring their families to a White House holiday party, which has
traditionally been held only for lawmakers themselves.
"The President and Mrs. Obama look forward to welcoming Members of Congress and their immediate families at the Congressional Holiday Ball in December," the official said in a statement.
The President and First Lady typically host between 18 and 24 holiday receptions and parties beginning immediately after Mrs. Obama unveils her holiday decor scheme in the first week of December.
*Photo by Pete Souza/White House, taken at the Congressional Picnic on the South Lawn of the White House, June 15, 2011.