President Obama has canceled an upcoming trip to Asia because of the partial U.S. government shutdown that has entered its fourth day Friday.
The White House announced late Thursday that the president made his decision to cancel visits to Indonesia and Brunei based on the difficulty in moving forward with foreign travel in the face of the shutdown and his plans to continue pressuring Republicans to allow a vote to reopen the government.
The White House says Secretary of State John Kerry will lead U.S. delegations to both countries, as well as to Malaysia and the Philippines. Kerry will attend the APEC summit in Bali in place of President Obama.
Earlier Thursday, President Obama said a simple bill to fund the government with no other issues attached -- including his signature health care plan, nicknamed "Obamacare" -- would pass the House of Representatives. Mr. Obama accused Republican House Speaker John Boehner of catering to a small group of conservative Republican extremists who want to defund or delay the health care plan as part of the next budget.
Boehner says Mr. Obama is refusing to negotiate. The speaker says all he wants is a discussion on the health care law, nicknamed "Obamacare" and what he calls "fairness" for the American people.