WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama has postponed two stops on his four-nation Asian tour because of the government shutdown.
The White House said it was “logistically . . . not possible” to go ahead with the trips to Malaysia and the Philippines at the end of his tour.
But he would still be attending regional summits in Indonesia and Brunei, the White House added.
The United States government has been partially shut down after the two houses of Congress failed to agree a new budget.
Obama earlier vowed not to allow Republicans to undermine his signature health care legislation as a condition to restart the American government.
“They demanded ransom,” Obama said.
Obama had been scheduled to begin his four-nation Asian trip on Saturday, heading to Bali for an Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation Summit and Brunei for the East Asia Summit before travelling on to Malaysia and the Philippines.
The White House said that “logistically, it was not possible to go ahead” with the trips to
“Because the [Malaysia and Philippines trips] are on the back end of the president’s upcoming trip, our personnel was not yet in place and we were not able to go forward with planning,” the White House said in a statement.
“Unlike the APEC and East Asia Summits, these trips can also be rescheduled, and President Obama looks forward to visiting Malaysia and the Philippines later in his term.”
Earlier, the office of Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak said Obama had called him to inform him that Secretary of State John Kerry would address an entrepreneurship conference in Kuala Lumpur on October 11 in his place.