U.S. President Barack Obama has postponed his trip to Indonesia and Australia to stay in Washington as he awaits a final vote on his health care reform package.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says the trip was delayed because the vote in the U.S. House of Representatives will not take place before Sunday afternoon.
Mr. Obama, who had previously pushed back the trip, was to depart Sunday for Indonesia and Australia. Gibbs told reporters Thursday that the president regrets the delay. He says alliances with Indonesia and Australia are critical to America's security and progress, but passage of health care insurance reform is of "paramount importance" and the president is determined to see it through. The spokesman says the president now expects to make the trip in June.