White House Official Explains Reason Behind Delay of Pence's Mid East Visit

Posted December 21, 2017

"The vice president looks forward to travelling to Egypt and Israel in January".

A senior official said Monday that even though "the tax vote is still in very good shape", the last-minute failure of health-care reform legislation in July - following an unexpected thumbs down from Sen.

The announcement from Pence's office came on the same day the United States vetoed a UN Security Council draft resolution that would have rejected "decisions and actions which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem".

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. The Vice President is committed to seeing the tax cut through to the finish line.

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Vice President Mike Pence on Monday postponed his trip to Egypt and Israel until mid-January, citing the need to preside over the Senate on a sweeping tax overhaul.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas's Fatah faction had called for a massive demonstration to coincide with Pence's visit and ruled out meeting him in Ramallah or Bethlehem.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had originally meant to meet with Pence but pulled out of the meeting after denouncing Trump's decision. His trip will be delayed until next month.

Vice President Mike Pence's office on Monday announced it had been made a decision to delay his trip to the Middle East scheduled for Tuesday, to keep him available to cast the tie breaking vote at the Senate on the GOP tax reform bill. John McCain, R-Ariz., was returning to his home state for cancer treatment, leaving Republicans with only 51 votes for the tax bill.

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The vice president had been scheduled to be in Cairo on Wednesday for a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and was expected to arrive in Israel later Wednesday for a visit to the Western Wall.

The new date for the trip is January 14th, according to CNN.

On December 9, the leader of Egypt's Coptic Christian faith, the largest Christian group in the Middle East, refused to meet Pence. The vice president wanted to make sure that he was in place to break a tie if it were necessary, the official said.

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