President Obama has cancelled the rest of his trip to Asia next week, pulling out of summits in Indonesia and Brunei because of the ongoing government shutdown, the White House announced tonight.
“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,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a written statement.
The president had planned to travel to Asia this weekend to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Bali, Indonesia, and the East Asia Summit in Darussalam, Brunei.
Secretary of State John Kerry will now lead delegations to both countries in place of the president.
The White House tonight put blame for the president’s cancellation squarely on House Republicans.
“The cancellation of this trip is another consequence of the House Republicans forcing a shutdown of the government,” Carney said. “This completely avoidable shutdown is setting back our ability to create jobs through promotion of U.S. exports and advance U.S. leadership and interests in the largest emerging region in the world. 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.”
Earlier in the week, the White House announced the president would no longer travel to Malaysia and the Philippines during the trip, but had remained hopeful he would be able to attend the summits in Indonesia and Brunei.