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Biden cancels visits to Australia and Papua New Guinea as debt ceiling negotiations continue

<i>Victor Blue/Bloomberg/Getty Images</i><br/>US President Joe Biden speaks during an event at SUNY Westchester Community College in Valhalla
Victor Blue/Bloomberg/Getty Images
US President Joe Biden speaks during an event at SUNY Westchester Community College in Valhalla

By Maegan Vazquez and Allie Malloy, CNN

(CNN) — President Joe Biden is canceling his upcoming visits to Papua New Guinea and Australia due to the ongoing debt ceiling negotiations in Washington, the White House confirmed Tuesday.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement Biden spoke to Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese earlier Tuesday to inform him he will be “postponing” the trip and invited the prime minister for an official state visit “at a time to be agreed by the teams.” Jean-Pierre added that the “President’s team engaged” with the prime minister of Papua New Guinea.

Biden will still travel to Japan starting Wednesday as part of what was supposed to be a weeklong trip through the Pacific region for a gathering of the Group of Seven leaders.

Albanese confirmed Tuesday night that Australia had canceled a summit of Quad leaders from the US, India, Australia, and Japan set to meet in Sydney upon the news that Biden would not be showing, though the prime minister said that talks could still proceed as leaders visit Japan.

Earlier Tuesday, National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby told reporters that the White House was “reevaluating” the stops to Papua New Guinea and Australia.

“What I can speak to is the G7 and going to Hiroshima. The president is looking forward to that. We are taking a look at the rest of the trip,” Kirby told reporters.

The the president’s trip cancellation comes as congressional leaders met with Biden at the White House to discuss the debt limit. The Treasury Department has warned that the government default could come as early as June 1, and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said a default would trigger a global economic downturn.

This story has been updated with additional developments.

™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s Angus Watson and Simone McCarthy contributed to this report.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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