Obama’s trip to Asia canceled due to shutdown

October 3, 2013

The White House announced late Thursday night that President Obama's upcoming trip to Asia has been canceled.

"Due to the government shutdown, President Obama’s travel to Indonesia and Brunei has been cancelled," White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement. "The President made this decision based on the difficulty in moving forward with foreign travel in the face of a shutdown, and his determination to continue pressing his case that Republicans should immediately allow a vote to reopen the government. Secretary (of State John) Kerry will lead delegations to both countries in place of the President."

Earlier this week, the White House announced Obama's trip has been scaled back, canceling stops in Malaysia and the Philippines.

Carney added that: “The cancellation of this trip is another consequence of the House Republicans forcing a shutdown of the government.”

The trip was scheduled to begin Saturday.

The White House said Obama will schedule the trip for another date.

"The President looks forward to continuing his work with our allies and partners in the Asia-Pacific and to returning to the region at a later date," Carney said.

Shortly before the White House announced the cancellation of the trip, it confirmed that Obama wouldn't attend a meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in Indonesia. It said Obama called Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to express his regrets.

"The President expressed his appreciation for President Yudhoyono's strong leadership of the APEC Summit," the White House said. "He expressed his regret that the ongoing government shutdown in the United States will prevent him from attending the Summit."

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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