The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

Statement from Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on the Delay of the President's Trip

The President is pleased that the House has posted the health care legislation on the Internet and that a final vote is coming.

But  since the House rules rightly provide for a 72-hour public review period, it is clear that a final vote on health insurance reform cannot take place before Sunday afternoon.

As a result, the President telephoned the leaders of Indonesia and Australia and told them that he must postpone his planned visits there for a later date so he can remain in Washington for this critical vote. The President expects to visit Indonesia in June.

The President greatly regrets the delay.  Our international alliances are critical to America’s security and economic progress.  But passage of health insurance reform is of paramount importance, and the President is determined to see this battle through.

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