From Sunlen Miller:
The White House announced today that President Obama will postpone his trip to Indonesia and Australia until June, due to health care bill hanging in the balance.
The president was to have left for nearly a week-long trip on Sunday morning– but as the House moves towards what looks like a Sunday afternoon vote, the White House said today the president will delay his trip.
“The president is pleased that the House will soon post the health care legislation on the internet and that a final vote is coming,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said today, “Since the House rules rightly provide for a 72 hour public review period, it is clear that a final vote for health insurance reform cannot take place before Sunday afternoon.”
Mr. Obama called the president of Indonesia, and will call the leader of Australia later this afternoon, to inform them that he must postpone his visit for a later date, “in order to remain in Washington for this critical vote,” Gibbs said.
The president is expected to now visit Indonesia and Australia in June.
“The president greatly regrets the delay,” Gibbs added, “The president believes right now the place for him to be right now is in Washington seeing this though.”
This is the second time the president has delayed this specific trip – earlier this week the trip was moved back three days, to allow for the president to help make the last-minute pitch for reform, as well as reaching out to specific members of Congress.
Gibbs said with the extra time the president will continue to work the phones rallying up support for the bill.