Tags: Obama | health | care | bill

Obama Delays Asia Trip for Healthcare

Friday, 12 March 2010 10:58 AM

President Obama has delayed his upcoming trip to Asia by three days to remain in Washington for what could be the climax of his year-long battle for health-care reform, his press secretary announced via Twitter this morning.

White House officials have been pushing the House of Representatives to vote on the Senate's health care measure by March 18, when Obama was set to take off for a week-long excursion to Guam, Indonesia and Australia. He now will leave March 21 instead.

Top Democratic lawmakers had publicly and privately expressed increasing doubt that they could meet the March 18 deadline, and press secretary Robert Gibbs acknowledged Thursday that the administration understood that the vote could be pushed back by a few days.

"The President will delay leaving for Indonesia and Australia - will now leave Sunday - the First Lady and the girls will not be on the trip," Gibbs tweeted Friday morning. Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha had been scheduled to join the president's trip.

The announcement represents the third time Obama has delayed travel in part because of the ongoing fight over health care. He postponed his trip to China in November because of the Fort Hood shootings and health-care votes. And he was late leaving for his vacation in Hawaii as lawmakers raced to pass health bills before Christmas.

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Friday, 12 March 2010 10:58 AM
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