Pence Israel Visit Postponed Yet Again

Laura Christensen
December 21, 2017

US Vice President Mike Pence has delayed a visit to the Middle East for a second time, the White House said Monday, to focus on the tax vote on Capitol Hill.

Pence's press secretary issued a statement Monday, saying "the largest tax cut in American history is a landmark accomplishment for President Trump and a relief to millions of hardworking Americans - the vice president is committed to seeing the tax cut through to the finish line". Therefore, to get the most out of the trip, the Vice President will now be traveling in mid-January.

U.S. President Donald Trump holds a proclamation that the U.S. government will formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel after signing the document at the White House, December 6.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had originally meant to meet with Pence but pulled out of the meeting after denouncing Trump's decision.

The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the package on Tuesday with the Senate vote to follow late Tuesday or early on Wednesday.

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The Palestinian Authority said it was not going to meet with Pence during his trip that was going to include a visit to Bethlehem, Christ's birth place, and a meeting with President Mahmoud Abbas. The Republicans' already thin margin in the Senate became even more precarious when McCain, who is battling brain cancer, was hospitalized for side effects of his treatment. In October, Pence's office said the vice president was schedule to make a stop in the occupied West Bank during the visit.

Mr Pence was scheduled to leave tonight to Egypt then on to Israel where he was planning to meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well as address the Kenneset.

Officials denied that Pence's decision was motivated by a wave of deadly protests in the wake of Trump's controversial decision to declare Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

"Now were are going to look at January and the trip may even be a little bigger". In doing so, senior officials said the protests were not a factor and that the vice president needed to stay in Washington until the tax vote was completed. "We'll obviously still go to Egypt and Israel, but we may add additional countries", the official said.

Other reports by My Hot News

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