In spite of the government shutdown, President Obama’s trip to Asia this weekend is still on.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said there are no scheduling changes planned for Mr. Obama’s trip, which will take him to Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines from Oct. 6 to Oct. 12.
“We are currently scheduled to travel,” Mr. Carney said, adding that the administration hopes House Republicans will agree to open the government by then.
With the government technically out of money, and the White House and congressional Democrats doing their utmost to emphasize the damage the shutdown is doing, the trip to posh tropical resorts would look particularly bad.
Flying time on Air Force One costs taxpayers about $180,000 per hour, in addition to staff costs, transporting vehicles overseas and other expenses. Mr. Obama’s weeklong trip to Africa this summer cost taxpayers at least $60 million, according to estimates.