Skip to main content

Obama delays Asia trip for health care bill

President Obama is postponing his trip to Asia, as the House of Representatives prepres to vote on the health care bill.
President Obama is postponing his trip to Asia, as the House of Representatives prepres to vote on the health care bill.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Postponement is second time White House has delayed the trip
  • House of Representatives is expected to vote this weekend on health care bill
  • Obama believes measure will pass, spokesman says

Washington (CNN) -- President Barack Obama is postponing a trip to Indonesia and Australia to remain in Washington for the expected House vote on the health care bill, a spokesman said.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Obama is likely to make the visit in June. The president had been scheduled to leave for the trip Sunday.

The postponement was the second time the White House has delayed the trip.

The House of Representatives is expected to vote this weekend on the health care bill passed by the Senate in December.

"The president greatly regrets the delay. ... The passage of health insurance reform is of paramount importance, and the president is determined to see this battle through," Gibbs said Thursday.

Read about the Democrats' $940 billion compromise plan

Video: Rate Obama on foreign policy
RELATED TOPICS

Obama believes the measure will pass, Gibbs added.

Indonesia expressed disappointment, but said it understood the administration's last-minute change in plans.

"To be honest, the protocol, logistical preparation is quite ripe for the visit, but then there's a good side," said presidential spokesman Dino Patti Djalal. "The good side is ... the visit can take place when the president's mind is not focused on Washington but on Indonesia-American relations."

CNN's Arwa Damon contributed to this report.