Vice President Mike Pence has delayed his upcoming trip to the Middle East until January, citing concern regarding the upcoming vote on the tax reform bill.
Pence was scheduled to depart the United States on Tuesday evening for Egypt, before visiting Israel later on in the week.
BREAKING: Vice President Mike Pence postpones trip to Middle East until mid-January, citing upcoming Senate tax vote.— The Associated Press (@AP) December 18, 2017
If there's a tie in the Senate, Pence could be called in to decide the vote. The GOP will already be short one member of the Senate, as Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has returned home to Arizona to recover from chemotherapy.
A statement from Pence's press secretary said that he was "committed to seeing the tax cut through to the finish line" and thus would be sticking around for the vote. The vote is to happen later on this week--and the bill is expected to pass, thanks to Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) announcing her support--but clearly Pence is not comfortable taking any chances.
"The largest tax cut in American history is a landmark accomplishment for President Trump and a relief to millions of hardworking Americans," Pence press secretary Alyssa Farah said in a statement. "The vice president is committed to seeing the tax cut through to the finish line."
Pence is now looking to visit the Middle East the week of January 14. In addition to the scheduled stops in Egypt and Israel, CNN said that he may now add another country to his itinerary. This rescheduled trip, however, is still in the planning stages and things are not yet finalized.
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