October 4, 2013 - 09:45 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - President Barack Obama is cancelling a trip to Asia next week because of the U.S. government shutdown, Belfast Telegraph said citing AP.
Obama had already shortened the trip from four countries to two.
The White House announced earlier in the week that the president would be unable to visit Malaysia and the Philippines because the partial shutdown of the federal government was impacting personnel needed to set up the stops.
The White House had held out hope that the president could attend to economic summits in Indonesia and Brunei.
But it announced late yesterday that Obama decided to skip the entire trip to stay in Washington DC to continue pressing for a budget bill that would reopen the government.
Obama had been due to depart the U.S. late on Saturday, October 5 night.
The U.S. government closed non-essential operations on Tuesday after Congress failed to strike a deal on a new budget.
Republicans and Democrats are blaming each other for the impasse.
The shutdown has left more than 700,000 employees on unpaid leave and closed national parks, tourist sites, government websites, office buildings, and more.
However, as one budget crisis raged in Washington DC, another one - potentially more dangerous - loomed in the coming weeks. On Oct 17, the U.S. government will run out of cash to pay its bills unless the debt ceiling is raised.
On both issues, the Republicans who control the House of Representatives have demanded concessions from Obama and his fellow Democrats in return for funding the government's continued operation and for raising the debt ceiling.
Chiefly, the Republicans demand the repeal, delay or defunding of a healthcare reform law - dubbed Obamacare - passed by the Democrats in 2010.
Major portions of that law, which was subsequently validated by the U.S. Supreme Court and was a major issue in the 2012 presidential election, took effect on Tuesday.