Politics
              U.S. President Barack Obama attends the East Asia Summit at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh, Cambodia Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012. Obama is in Cambodia on the final leg of his three-country tour of Southeast Asia. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)
              U.S. President Barack Obama attends the East Asia Summit at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh, Cambodia Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012. Obama is in Cambodia on the final leg of his three-country tour of Southeast Asia. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)   

Obama sacrifices Asians in budget fight

Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

President Barack Obama is slicing his Asian trip this weekend in half, and may cancel the entire trip, as he continues to oppose GOP reforms to his government takeover of the nation’s health care system.

He’s still slated to fly out to Indonesia and Brunei for international summits, starting Saturday, but he cancelled stopovers in Malaysia and the Philippines.

He said he’d send Secretary of State John Kerry in his place.

“Last night, President Obama called Prime Minister Najib of Malaysia to inform him that, due to the government shutdown, he will not be able to go forward with his planned travel to Malaysia,” said a White House statement issued Oct. 2.

Malaysia is located between Indian and Thailand.

In his call to the the president of the Philippines, “the President reaffirmed our strong alliance with the Philippines and respect for President Aquino’s leadership, and committed to travel to the Philippines later in his term.”

The GOP-led House has approved the 2014 budget three times, but each bill has been rejected by Obama and the Democratic–majority Senate.

The Democrats oppose the GOP’s reforms of Obamacare, which include ending a tax on high-tech medical-device makers, ending lucrative exemptions for White House and congressional staffers, and setting a one-year delay in the 2010 law’s requirement that all adults buy health-insurance, no matter their age, health or other priorities.