Obama cancels Asia trip because of shutdown

President Obama pauses while speaking in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington Oct. 1, 2013, about the government shutdown. AP Photo

Updated 11:00 PM ET

WASHINGTON President Barack Obama is canceling a trip to Asia next week because of the government shutdown.

Obama had already shortened the trip from four countries to two. The White House announced earlier in the week that Obama 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 Thursday that Obama decided to skip the entire trip to stay in Washington to continue pressing for a budget bill that would reopen the government.

"The cancellation of this trip is another consequence of the House Republicans forcing a shutdown of the government," the Office of the Press Secretary of the White House said in a statement. "This completely avoidable shutdown is setting back our ability to create jobs through promotion of U.S. exports and advance U.S. leadership and interests in the largest emerging region in the world. The President looks forward to continuing his work with our allies and partners in the Asia-Pacific and to returning to the region at a later date."

The statement said that Secretary of State John Kerry "will lead delegations to both countries in place of the President."

The White House said the Sultan of Brunei and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Thursday night to express his regret.

Obama had been due to depart Washington late Saturday night.

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