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Biden cancels visits to Australia and Papua New Guinea


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

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement that Biden spoke with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese earlier Tuesday to inform him that he will “postpone” the trip and invited the prime minister to make an official state visit “at some point, more details are agreed upon by the teams.” Jean-Pierre added that “the president’s team engaged” with the prime minister of Papua New Guinea.

Biden is still traveling to Japan starting Wednesday as part of what was supposed to be a weeklong tour of the Pacific region.

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

“What I can talk about is the G7 and going to Hiroshima. The president is looking forward to that. We’ll take a look at the rest of the trip,” Kirby told reporters.

The cancellation sticks as congressional leaders met with Biden at the White House to discuss the debt limit. The Treasury Department has warned that a 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 further developments.

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