WASHINGTON--White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Thursday that President Obama will postpone his trip to Indonesia, Australia and Guam to stay in town for showdown votes on health care that could come this weekend.
Obama's original schedule had him departing on March 18; he pushed it back to Sunday morning and on Thursday Gibbs said the whole trip was scratched until June.
"The president telephoned the leader of Indonesia and will call
the leader of Australia later this afternoon and told them that he
most -- must postpone his planned visits for a later date so that he
can remain in Washington for this critical vote. The president now
expects to visit Indonesia in June," Gibbs said.
"The president greatly regrets the delay. Our international
alliances are critical to America's security and economic progress,
but passage of -- passage of health-insurance reform is of paramount
importance, and the president is determined to see this battle
through," Gibbs said.