(still spending more than last year mind you)

The next casualty of sequestration could be the Easter Bunny – at least according to a White House e-mail that recently landed in Capitol Hill inboxes.

The White House warned Congress that budget cuts could nix the annual Easter Egg Roll for kids, which is planned
for April 1.

“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,” the White House cautioned, according to two Capitol Hill sources who provided the language. “If cancelled, the event will not be rescheduled.”

The move appears to reel back statements by White House press secretary Jay Carney last week that the egg roll would go forward, although he said that could change.

The administration has faced a backlash from Congress – and late-night comics – for canceling tours of the White House to save money as part of the $85 billion in automatic budget cuts, known as sequestration, that went into effect March 1. And there has also been criticism that the Easter Egg roll would go forward while the tours are not.

On Friday, Carney got into a contentious back-and-forth on Fox News and said the egg roll is for a lot of military families and it's paid for by the sale of ceremonial eggs and outside donations. "It’s a totally different budget," he said. "These are apples and oranges."

The president and other White House officials have placed the blame for tour cancellation at the feet of the Secret Service, which controls security for the self-guided tours.

But the White House has been advertising the Easter Egg Roll as an extension of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” youth health initiative, making it seem an unlikely candidate for the budget ax.

Indeed, the White House has a whole page on its website devoted to the Easter Egg Roll, which is expected to draw 35,000 participants in its 135th year.