Tags: Obama | trip | pressure | Indonesia

Obama Under Pressure to Cancel Asia Trip

Wednesday, 17 March 2010 09:58 PM

Some Democrats in Congress are worrying that President Obama may be making a mistake by traveling overseas next week, just when his year-long push for a health-care overhaul could come up for a final vote in the Senate.

"The timing is ill-advised. We need all hands on deck," said Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.). "If nothing else, the atmospherics it creates by being on the foreign trip when we're doing the heavy lifting on this is wrong. If I were asked, I'd tell him to postpone it."

Few lawmakers were willing to voice such criticism of their president, who will leave Sunday for a five-day excursion to Indonesia, Guam and Australia. The trip has already been delayed by three days so Obama can be in Washington when the House is expected to vote, perhaps as soon as Saturday.

Planning for the trip is racing ahead. But one top Democratic aide on Capitol Hill aide said conversations between the White House and lawmakers about his departure have been tense.

"It's fair to say that when the White House staff broached this with House and Senate leadership staff, they heard very serious concerns about it," said the aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private strategy talks. "They know damn well that we have concerns."

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Wednesday, 17 March 2010 09:58 PM
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